Hungarian Grand Prix

The Hungarian Grand Prix is held at the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest, although it was originally based at Nepliget. The first Grand Prix was held in Hungary in 1936. The Hungarian Grand Prix is usually held at the beginning of August and is famed for its good weather, with the 2006 Grand Prix being the first held at Hungaroring in wet conditions.

History

The Formula One Grand Prix in Hungary has a very unusual history; it was first held on 21st June, 1936 at a 3.1 mile circuit in Nepliget, Budapest. The race was run by nine cars, three each from the Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union teams.

It was won by Italian, Tazio Nuvolari, but, despite the fact that the race drew large crowds, a Grand Prix was not held in Hungary for another fifty years. This was primarily because of major political problems and the Second World War.

Racing became popular again in Hungary in the 1960s, but it was not until the mid-1980s that another Grand Prix was held there. Formula One officials decided they wanted a Grand Prix race to be held behind the Iron Curtain and originally decided upon Russia.

However, by 1983, Hungary was more in favour and Hungarian national sporting authorities were keen to become involved with international motor sport again. Originally the idea of a street-race was preferred, but then it was decided that an entirely new track should be built, 19 miles outside the Hungarian capital, Budapest.

Hungarian Grand PrixHungarian Grand Prix

Work began on the circuit in 1985 and the 1986 Formula One Grand Prix race at Hungaroring was attended by around 200,000 people despite the fact tickets were very expensive at the time.

The track has afforded many exciting races including that of 1989, when Nigel Mansell scraped his way from 12th place to a narrow victory, after passing race-leader Ayrton Senna.

Senna missed out on a win again in 1990 when Thierry Boutsen kept the world-champion at bay, despite being in a slower car, and won by just 0.3 seconds. The 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix was also one of the most memorable at Hungaroring.

This race saw Damon Hill pass Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari in a fantastic manoeuvre and lead for much of the rest of the race in his Arrows-Yamaha. However, following a last minute mechanical failure he lost power in the final lap, causing him to coast into second place behind Canadian ex-teammate, Jacques Villeneuve.

Hungaroring has also been home to quite a few first-time wins, including Damon Hill in 1993, Fernando Alonso in 2003 and Jensen Button in 2006, after an action-packed race.

In 2001 Michael Schumacher equalled Alain Prost’s record 51 wins and also gained his fourth World Championship in the process. 2006 saw the first ever wet race at Hungaroring and Button battled up 14 places to his first-ever Grand Prix win. Support for Hungarian motor racing is still very high in Hungary, particularly from the Finns because of the similarities between the two languages.

The Circuit

The circuit is very narrow and twisty with few overtaking opportunities, making it the course with the second-lowest average speed, after the Monte Carlo street circuit in Monaco.

The circuit has become famous for its processional races, with sometimes a string of cars following each other, unable to overtake. Changes were made to the track in 2003 to try and allow more opportunities for passing. However, drivers still think it is necessary to get high up the grid in qualifying because overtaking opportunities are still quite limited. The Hungaroring track is also often very dusty because of its infrequent usage.

It is often regarded as one of the more challenging tracks because of its physical requirements. The drivers nearly always have some sort of steering angle and the straights are short, so there is never time for “a break”.

The track length is 4.38 kilometres, or 2.72 miles. There are 70 laps making the total race length 306.66 kilometres, or 190.55 miles. The Hungaroring circuit is set in a natural valley meaning it has superb visibility. In fact, almost 80% of the track is visible from all of the viewing areas.

Sponsors

  • Pop 84 Magyar Nagydij 1988-1990
  • Marlboro Magyar Nagydij 1991-2005
  • Shell Magyar Nagidij 2006
  • Agip Magyar Nagidij 2007
  • ING Magyar Nagidij 2008

A table of those who have won the Hungarian Grand Prix on more than one occasion is shown below. A full list of all the winners is shown at the bottom of the page.
>Repeat Winners of the Hungarian Grand Prix
Number of WinsDriver and NationalityYears4Michael Schumacher (German)1994, 1998, 2001, 20043Ayrton Senna (Brazilian)1988, 1991-22Nelson Piquet (Brazilian)1986-72Damon Hill (English)1993, 19952Jacques Villeneuve (Canadian)1996-72Mika Hakkinen (Finnish)1999, 2000

Records

(correct as of 2007)

  • Fastest lap time: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) – 1 minute and 19.071 seconds (2004)
  • Most wins (driver): Michael Schumacher (4)
  • Most wins (constructors): Williams (7), McLaren (7)

Ticket Information

The Hungaroring circuit offers a variety of tickets including General Admission, standing, seated and covered seating areas. They also provide discounts for juniors and families.

  • General Admission starts at €110 for the entire weekend for adults and just €55 for Juniors, those under the age of 18.
  • Bronze grandstand tickets cost from €139.
  • Weekend Silver grandstand tickets begin from €120 for Juniors, Adult tickets are from €240 and Family tickets are €250.
  • Weekend Gold grandstand tickets start at €160 for Juniors and €330 for Adults.
  • Super Gold grandstand tickets start at €200 for Juniors and €400 for Adults.

All tickets provide free parking in the Hungaroring circuit car park, which has a very high capacity. Further ticket information and prices can be found at the official Hungarian Grand Prix website here. There is a 5% surcharge for any tickets booked through this site.

There is also a further charge for forwarding the tickets to another country; this is around €15 for EU countries and €20 for non-EU European countries. If you live outside Europe, you can expect to pay a larger fee.

Access

There are frequent flights to Budapest from many British airports (including London Luton, Heathrow and Gatwick), costing from just £45 economy return, depending on when you book. Once in Hungary you have a variety of options for getting to the Hungaroring circuit:

  • By suburban railway (HEV): Take the railway from Ors vezer Square in Budapest and get off at either Szilasliget or Hungaroring. Both stops are very close to the racetrack, but the Szilasliget stop has a paved road to the circuit, whereas the Hungaroring stop only has a dirt track.
  • By bus: Hungarian Grand Prix buses go from the Arpad Bridge to the centre of Mogyorod and the track is only a short walk from there.
  • By car: Mogyorod is only 20 minutes from Budapest on the M3 motorway and the Hungaroring is well signposted. You will need a ‘vignette’ to use the motorway; a four-day vignette costs around €5. There will be major traffic jams before and after the race, so make sure you leave in good time. Car rental in Hungary is quite cheap so this may be the best option if you are also planning on doing some sightseeing before or after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Contact Info

Hungaroring Sport RT,
H-2146 Mogyorod,
PO Box 10,
Hungary

Tel: (+36) 28444 444
Fax: (+36) 28441 860
Web: Hungarian Grand Prix

Winners of the Hungarian Grand Prix
Year Driver and Nationality Constructor Location
2007 Lewis Hamilton (English) McLaren-Mercedes Hungaroring
2006 Jensen Button (English) Honda Hungaroring
2005 Kimi Raikkonen (Finnish) McLaren-Mercedes Hungaroring
2004 Michael Schumacher (German) Ferrari Hungaroring
2003 Fernando Alonso (Spanish) Renault Hungaroring
2002 Rubens Barrichello (Brazilian) Ferrari Hungaroring
2001 Michael Schumacher (German) Ferrari Hungaroring
2000 Mika Hakkinen (Finnish) McLaren-Mercedes Hungaroring
1999 Mika Hakkinen (Finnish) McLaren-Mercedes Hungaroring
1998 Michael Schumacher (German) Ferrari Hungaroring
1997 Jacques Villeneuve (Canadian) Williams-Renault Hungaroring
1996 Jacques Villeneuve (Canadian) Williams-Renault Hungaroring
1995 Damon Hill (English) Williams-Renault Hungaroring
1994 Michael Schumacher (German) Benetton-Ford Hungaroring
1993 Damon Hill (English) Williams-Renault Hungaroring
1992 Ayrton Senna (Brazilian) McLaren-Honda Hungaroring
1991 Ayrton Senna (Brazilian) McLaren-Honda Hungaroring
1990 Thierry Boutsen (Belgian) Williams-Renault Hungaroring
1989 Nigel Mansell (English) Ferrari Hungaroring
1988 Ayrton Senna (Brazilian) McLaren-Honda Hungaroring
1987 Nelson Piquet (Brazilian) Williams-Honda Hungaroring
1986 Nelson Piquet (Brazilian) Williams-Honda Hungaroring
1936 Tazio Nuvolari (Italian) Alfa Romeo Nepliget