A week ago, the official Formula 1 YouTube Channel posted a video giving all us F1 fans the first look at the Hanoi Street Circuit on an early build of the Codemasters’ F1 2020 videogame, which is set to be released to the public on the 10th of July this year. The Vietnam Grand Prix was set to take place on the 5th of April 2020, but due to the current situation, we can only experience the race in the virtual world when the game comes out. The same thing goes for the Dutch Grand Prix, which was set to take place on the 3rd of May 2020. Some YouTubers who are part of the press got the video showcasing the Hanoi Street Circuit on the F1 game directly from Codemasters, who provided early builds of the game to the same members of the press. To know more about that build, stay on the lookout for the upcoming posts, as there will be one post explaining in detail what is available in that build, and what can be shown to the public, and what can’t.
This post is also your chance to get a first look at this blog! Right now, you are reading the very first post written on F1ntastic. If you take a look at the title again, you’ll see what I was talking about. Feel free to let me know in the comments below about any feedback you want to give me, what topics you want me to write about, or anything else you think I should know. The goal F1ntastic is trying to achieve is to bring joy, knowledge, and information to everyone in the F1 community and beyond, especially during these trying times that we are facing right now. Make sure that you guys are on the lookout; periodically, new posts will be published on the blog, so make sure that you check them out. Also, the About Us page is something you should take a look at, as it is vital that you readers know what F1ntastic is, who we are, and how you can really enjoy this blog. But for now, read on, and find out about the Hanoi Street Circuit.
Let’s get into a bit more detail about the latest addition to the list of F1 tracks, and just overall how gamers and, hopefully in the near future, drivers, are going to tackle the streets of the capital of Vietnam. Designed by circuit architect Hermann Tilke, the circuit is 5.613 kilometres long, featuring 23 corners, and 2 DRS straights, the back straight being a whopping 1.5 kilometres long, making the straight the second-longest straight on the F1 calendar with a kink; straights are ranked by the length of the track in a straight line, however, the back straight in Hanoi has a long kink in the middle, and a few, very small bends at the start of the straight. The back straight without the kink is 800m long. The Vietnamese Grand Prix, which would have run for 55 laps, was set to take place on the 5th of April 2020, but was postponed along with the Bahrain Grand Prix on the 13th of March 2020; the very same day the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled after McLaren announced their withdrawal from the event, due to a team member testing positive for the Coronavirus. The YouTube videos showing gameplay of the Hanoi Street Circuit proves a lot of people’s thoughts about the corners wrong. For example, both the roundabout sections are actually really slow, whereas a lot of people that that they would more flowing and smooth. Some people though they could compare Turn 3 in Sochi to Turns 1-9 in Hanoi, in turns of the flow and the smoothness of the corner, but the fact that the circuit is a street circuit and the track is incredibly narrow won’t allow gamers and drivers to keep their foot on the throttle as much as they expected.
Fun Fact! The Hanoi Street Circuit is the 8th longest track on the current F1 calendar, Monza being the 7th longest, and Yas Marina being the 9th longest.
Below the paragraph about F1ntastic is an image of the final track layout. The original track layout had the last 3 corners more smoother; the run from Turn 20 to Turn 21 was shorter, and T21 was less long and less sharp. The entry to Turn 22 was much faster, and Turn 22 was much less sharper, which made the final corner more sharper and more like the current Turn 22. This also made the pit straight slightly longer, increasing the speed into Turn 1. Now, Turn 21 is more longer and just throws you into T22, which is now a tight hairpin which leads you into the final corner, which isn’t drastically smoother due to tight walls on either side of the track. Of course, I am judging the difference by the gameplay we have seen on YouTube, which also shows that a lot of the corners in this track, especially the roundabout sections, are late apex corners, and require you to focus more on getting a slingshot exit out of the corners and onto the straights. However, that could be hindered a lot by the curbs. In the preview build of the game, gamers have had a bit of trouble with the exit curbs and some of the entry curbs, because they are very thick, and very 3D, which allows you to easily lose traction. Speaking about traction, the gamers are finding the track much more slippery, and hard to work with. Hanoi is a high downforce circuit, but the issue may be more related to the tires. The confidence levels may decrease when driving on this track in terms of the the throttle and the brakes, but we can only know for sure when the actual game comes out.
An incredibly interesting and enjoyable aspect of the Hanoi Street Circuit and Hermann Tilke’s designing is the fact that there are many corners in this track that are based on corners from other tracks. Many other tracks have the same attribute, which makes it even more exciting, as you can compare the original corner/corners to the corners based on them. The first 2 corners in Hanoi are based on the first 2 corners in the Nurburgring. The fast S-section of T12 – T15 is based on the quick uphill section in Monaco. The slower, and longer S-section of Turns 16 – 19 is based on the incredibly enjoyable set of corners in Suzuka, in Japan. Of course, the corners in Vietnam aren’t the same, but they are based on these corners from different circuits.
To conclude this post, I just wanted to say thank you for reading the first official post on F1ntastic, and I hope you learned something today. Please take into consideration how much time and effort has gone into designing and making this track, and how tough it would have been to include the track in the F1 game, especially since it is completely new.y Be sure to keep on the lookout for upcoming posts. Hope you enjoyed this one!