Vietnam Grand Prix releases 3D images of new F1 circuit

The organisers of the Vietnam Grand Prix have released the first images of how the circuit will look ahead of the first Formula One race there next year.

The race will be held around the country's capital city of Hanoi on a 5.565km street circuit featuring purpose-built sections and a newly constructed pit and paddock complex. Work on the race circuit started earlier this year.

Although a date has not been confirmed yet, tickets went on sale earlier this month and it is understood the race will be scheduled at some point in April, although F1 is yet to finalise the details of the 2020 calendar.

While the circuit has released a virtual lap of the track, it has gone further this week and shown what the planned pit facilities and grandstands should look like.

The circuit is described by Formula One as a "unique hybrid layout" with "a real desire to steer away from humdrum 90-degree road-junction type corners and foster a layout that facilitates wheel-to-wheel racing while retaining a closed-in street feel that makes city race tracks so demanding for drivers". The layout of the Herman Tilke-designed track has based Turns 1 and 2 on the Nurburgring, while other sections take inspiration from parts of Monaco, Suzuka and the Sepang circuit which used to host the Malaysian Grand Prix.

At one point, cars will top out at 335 km/h down the circuit's long 1.5km back straight. That straight starts after a long hairpin corner, which will have a grandstand running along the outside and one of the best views in the whole circuit, and ends with a heavy-braking left-hand corner.

Vietnam will be one of two new additions to the 2020 calendar -- earlier this year it was confirmed the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort will return to capitalise on the growing popularity of Red Bull's Max Verstappen. F1 had hoped to have added a Miami Grand Prix by this point, but talks with the city are ongoing after the original plans centred around a downtown street race were scrapped due to local opposition.

With those two races added, the calendar would stand at an unprecedented 23 races next year, but four current circuits -- Spain, Germany, Italy and Mexico -- all have contracts due to expire at the end of the year. It is expected that at least one of those will be dropped to make space.