Someone Already Made a Virtual Copy of Vietnam’s F1 Circuit on Assetto Corsa

Less than 12 hours after its unveiling, the Hanoi track is ready to go thanks to a gaming wizard.

byJames Gilboy| UPDATED Nov 8, 2018 9:17 AM
Someone Already Made a Virtual Copy of Vietnam’s F1 Circuit on Assetto Corsa

After months of rumors, Formula 1 confirmed Wednesday that it will race in Vietnam's capital of Hanoi come 2020. Less than 12 hours later, someone has already cloned the track for use in the racing simulator "Assetto Corsa."

The as-of-yet unnamed counterclockwise street circuit will be 5.565 kilometers (3.46 miles) in length and feature one of the longest straights (1.5 km) on the calendar. It features 22 corners, the majority of which are crammed into its fast, flowing third sector. Formula 1 cars won't race there for almost 18 months, with the first Vietnamese Grand Prix being scheduled for April of 2020, but that doesn't mean we have to wait to see what an onboard lap of the track will look like.

YouTube and Reddit user "nothke," the track's creator, states that he saw a leaked circuit route on Tuesday. Per their Reddit comment, he immediately got to work replicating the circuit for racing simulator "Assetto Corsa" using a 3-D modeling and animation software known as Blender, which he had never used before. With only the leaked circuit route image and Google Maps, he set out to digitize the Hanoi circuit in just a night's time, completing an approximation in the early hours of Wednesday.

He celebrated the completion of the Hanoi circuit model as any red-blooded racing fan would: with a digital hot lap.

Though the simulation is woefully incomplete without accurate modeling of F1's tires, tarmac quality, and track conditions, the hot lap gives us a rough approximation of how fast F1 cars might lap the lengthy Hanoi circuit. Somewhere in the 1:30s seems right, provided there's no rain, of which Vietnam has no shortage of.

We can't know for sure what lap times will look like until the first Vietnamese Grand Prix in April of 2020, but it's likely that F1 will head there beforehand for promo work. Think donuts on the roof of a skyscraper sort of thing.