Vietnam Grand Prix
Time will tell, but despite being a street circuit, Hanoi looks set to be a track where drivers can race. Long straights and hairpin bends means overtaking should be possible. The best grandstands are well placed to make the most of this while general admission offers the chance to get really close to the action for a fraction of the cost.
Best Grandstands at Hanoi Street Circuit
Grandstands fall into three categories – premium, standard and unreserved – and these tiers are reflected in both price and the potential appeal of these vantage points. We won’t know exactly what kind of view each grandstand offers until the track is completed and the start lights go out in April, but looking at the track layout and the placement of grandstands we can speculate about where the best views might be had.
Starting Grid Grandstand
You might not get to see an Alfa Romeo on pole position as the optimistic fellow who made these renderings has suggested but the aptly named Starting Grid Grandstand is the number one grandstand of choice for anyone wanting to catch all the usual pit straight goodness.
Though the T1 grandstand should also give fans some view of the grid, its only really here that you can see close up the teams and drivers getting ready before the race, all the pit stops, the podium and post quali/race interviews with the top three.
Turn 1 Grandstand
Continuing the pattern of uninspired grandstand names is turn one’s Turn 1 Grandstand. These premium seats promise to be one of most popular vantage points, and for good reason. Hanoi’s first corner is a tight left that may be one of the tracks best overtaking opportunities.
It’s one of the tightest first corners of a Grand Prix and the anticipation of 20 F1 cars piling into here for the first time will be immense for fans in these seats.
Fans nearest turn 1 (in the upper rows at least) may have some view of the action throughout the long curved turn 2 and 3 and 4 where the track curves back towards the grandstand, while at the other end of the stand, fans should have some view of the grid and the pit lane action.
Turn 2-3-4 Grandstand
The right hand curved turn 2 is reminiscent of turn 2 at the Nurburgring or turn 3 at Shanghai, the drivers gently easing onto the power.
The layout and the wide track should lend itself to multiple racing lines and it may be one of the best places to see wheel to wheel action as turn 1 overtakes continue to play out through the next sequence of corners.
Seats in this grandstand look like being one of the best for a multiple corner view of the track.
Turn 7-8 Grandstand
Fans in the Turn 7-8 Grandstand look set to have an unusual view of proceedings. From these seats you’ll get to watch the cars approach down one side of Le Quang Dao avenue, negotiate turns 6 to 9 before roaring off down the other side.
Turn 6 may be an overtaking spot and the following turn 8 is a similar long, drawn out curve to turn 2.
Of all the grandstands at Hanoi the view from here extends over the greatest portion of track. That coupled with the chance to see F1 cars at high and low speeds and possibly overtaking too makes the Turn 7-8 Grandstand a very appealing vantage point.
Turn 10.5 Grandstand
A bit like the way platform 9¾ is between platforms 9 and 10, Grandstand 10.5 is between turns 10 and 11 but you shouldn’t have to run into a wall to access it. This is the fastest part of the track and though it might not be as fast as a flying Ford Anglia, seeing Formula One cars at full speed here should be magical.
From the exit of turn 9, cars begin accelerating for what is (if you ignore turn 10) the longest straight at the Hanoi circuit and with the exception of Baku, the longest in the sport at 1.5km. Turn 10 is easily flat and so by the next braking zone speeds are in excess of 330km/hr.
With DRS and a powerful slipstream it wouldn’t be surprising to see cars going side by side through here, aiming to complete the move at the following hairpin.
After the hairpin the track doubles back on itself and it should be possible for fans in the T10.5 grandstand to get a good view of the track going the opposite direction.
Turn 12 Grandstand
With four grandstands in this area of the circuit there should be a great atmosphere in what designer, Tilke has described as a stadium-like section.
From the dizzying speeds of the fastest section of track, cars enter the slowest point of the track – the turn 11 hairpin. This should make this corner a possible overtaking spot and at such low speeds, the Turn 12 Grandstands will be one of the best points for photographing the action.
Turn 13 Grandstand
At the time of writing it’s a bit unclear whether turn 13 will be a 90 degree right that might make a good place for overtaking or if its more a fast kink, which wouldn’t.
In any case, this unreserved grandstand is one of the least expensive options in Hanoi and like T10.5 Grandstand opposite, the views may not be the most exciting. It should appeal to anyone on a budget who would appreciate the comfort of a seated position in the Hanoi heat.
General Admission experience at the Vietnam Grand Prix
A general admission ticket may lack the comfort of a grandstand seat but it gives fans the freedom to move around, taking in the track from a number of vantage points.
Like at many other street circuits you should be able to get quite close to the track compared with a grandstand so you can really appreciate the speed and sound of the F1 cars. Unfortunately the terrain around the circuit is quite flat so you might not be able to see a great expanse of the track from any one vantage point.
With a lack of other viewing options towards the end of the lap general admission could be the only way to experience the fast, sweeping third sector.