In 2020, which is somehow next year instead of the date typed on a screen in an apocalyptic movie, Formula One plans to have a new street race in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi—if those plans don’t wither away, as they’re known to do in F1. Either way, F1 is already simulating what the circuit could look like.
Rumors about a Vietnam Grand Prix went around all through 2018 before F1 confirmed the plans, saying the track would be part street course and part purpose-built F1 circuit, with the new portions of the track becoming public roadways outside of the annual race weekend. F1 shared the planned track map late last year, saying soon after that it’s been using simulators to design new tracks for more passing. The series finally shared a Vietnam simulation with the rest of us.
The only view on this simulation is from the cockpit, but it’s still interesting to see what the track map may look like in practice instead of just on paper:
The plans for the nearly 3.5-mile Hanoi circuit include a snaking section near the start-finish line, a colosseum-like turn in front of a set of grandstands, and a seemingly never-ending straightaway in the middle of the lap. It looks a lot better than the Miami street course F1 proposed for this year did, but the bar wasn’t high there—that track looked like a bunch of bobby pins mashed together, before the whole “Miami Grand Prix” thing shriveled into near nonexistence.
While that very thing could always happen to this race as well—or any race, at that—at least we know what it could’ve looked like. Just play this single-car onboard simulator footage on a loop on the television in your living room, and it’ll almost be like the Vietnam Grand Prix is happening right now.
After all, there are plenty of times when there’s only one car in the television shot in an actual F1 race, too. It’s very true to form.