The final layer of asphalt is being laid down at Vietnam’s Hanoi Circuit this week, as construction of the circuit closes in on completion.
Work on Vietnam’s Hanoi Circuit continues at breakneck speed as organisers are on schedule to have the track fully ready for the inaugural event at the venue in early April.
On Monday, trucks rolled in to begin laying down the final layer of asphalt to the circuit – a far more complex operation than one might expect, given that the material used must conform to FIA Grade 1 standards for circuit certification. The tarmac was approved by labs in Singapore and Germany, after samples were sent off to ensure this standard was met.
Each day this week, construction crews intend to lay down at least a kilometre of fresh tarmac with the intention being to finish this task for Friday.
According to the organisers, all the asphalt material for the Hanoi Circuit has been locally sourced in Vietnam with engineers visiting mines all around the country to find the best source available. This was found in the Quang Ninh province, before being sent to Hanoi for mixing.
Such exacting standards are required by the FIA as, otherwise, there would be risk of stone chippings coming loose and resting on the surface – a major issue with cars passing by at 300km/h+.
The circuit layout is using some streets in Hanoi, but the designers (Tilke GmbH) along with F1’s in-house motorsport division had carte blanche for most of the final sector as there were no existing roads to work around.
“We are fixed to the streets in Hanoi – which are basically the straights – but through simulation tools we have been able to create the best track possible, not only from a driving perspective, but to offer a lot of overtaking too,” says Carsten Tilke, the Managing Director of F1 track designers, Tilke.
“Our simulations have shown the Hanoi Circuit will offer great racing and plenty of overtaking,” says Tilke. “It will be difficult to get a good lap time as it will be very easy to make a mistake – so hopefully the drivers will like the challenge.”
Organisers intend to have the Hanoi Circuit largely complete by the end of January, over two months ahead of the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix from the 3rd to the 5th of April.