The Hanoi Street Circuit nears completion, attendance figures for 2019 are revealed and could Formula 1 be heading to Panama in the near future? Here’s a round up of all the latest F1 calendar news!
Britain best attended, Mexico best promoter
Formula 1 released attendance figures for the 2019 season in December. The figures showed a 1.75% year-on-year increase, with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone being the best attended race of the season once again. Read more about 2019’s attendance figures here.
At the annual FIA Prize Giving Gala, the Mexican Grand Prix once again won the best promoter award. It was the fifth season that the Mexican event has won the award, having been victorious in every season since it re-joined the calendar. It means that Mexico has won the title six times in total, having also won back in 1986. It overtakes Australia as the event to have been handed the award the most times since it was founded in 1975.
Hanoi work to be completed this month
Work on the Hanoi Street Circuit is set to be completed in January. New photos were released as part of an update in December, showing the laying of asphalt at the Vietnamese track.
In December, a slight modification to the track design was announced. The section around Turn 22, the penultimate corner at the track, has been extended in an effort to increase safety. The change increases the track duration by 0.041km. Turn 22 is just after the pit exit, and the pit-lane has been designed so that cars lose a minimal amount of time when making a pit stop, thus hopefully leading to more varied strategic calls.
Read our Vietnam Grand Prix travel guide if you’re heading to the inaugural event.
A new race in Panama?
Could Panama City become Formula 1’s latest addition to the calendar? At the end of December, plans for a race in the South American city came to light. The original story appeared in local newspaper Mi Diario.
Local architects have completed a feasibility review for holding a Grand Prix in the area from 2023 onwards. The rumour is that Panama would act as a replacement for the Mexican Grand Prix should it fall off the calendar when its current contract ends. The proposed track passes along the city’s bayfront, before roaring through Panama’s banking district.
Zandvoort close to important milestone
Zandvoort continues to gear up for the return of the Dutch Grand Prix in May. New drone footage of the circuit has emerged in recent weeks showing the upgrades to the legendary circuit. Most striking is the banked final turn, which has required extra attention from Geobrugg, who are preparing the track to meet FIA Grade 1 standards.
Meanwhile, speaking to the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com, three-time winner of the Dutch Grand Prix Jackie Stewart expressed his concerns at accessing the circuit on Grand Prix weekend, saying that it was an issue even in his days as a racing driver.