Hungarian GP preview – History and Budapest

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2017 will see Budapest host the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix for an impressive 32th time. It will once again be held on the Hungaroring which is located in a valley offering a unique look on the circuit.


The Hungaroring is located in the small town of Mogyoród, some 18km away from Budapest. The M3 freeway offers a quick accessibility from the Hungarian capital. The twisty track was built in 1985 and 1986. Construction works started on 1 October 1985. In record time, the works were finished in eight months. The first race was then held on 24 March 1986.
Thanks to a coup of Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One ventured behind the Iron Curtain. The Briton was interested in bringing his Circus in the Soviet Union. He was looking for the ideal place, he even visited Moscow, but he found the location of the possible GP grey and depressing. Ecclestone’s second wife Slavica Radic suggested a race in her home country Yugoslavia.

However, the Hungarian-born businessman, close friend of Ecclestone, Tamás Rohonyi recommended a race on his home turf. When Ecclestone visited Budapest for negotiations and was guided around the Buda castle, he was taken aback and fell in love with the scenic view on the street. He first wanted a race in the city centre, the beautiful Városliget where the heavenly Heroes’ Square is located was the first candidate to host the GP. However, the local authorities refused to give the green lights. Without the permission, the men in charge started looking for race locations outside the Hungarian capital.

Since its inception, Hungaroring became a mainstay in Formula One, only Monaco and Monza have featured on the calendar for longer than the 4.3km long circuit.
Three-time world champion Ayrton Senna claimed the first ever pole position on the Hungaroring with his Lotus and Nelson Piquet went on to open up the history book of the track by winning the race in his Williams 17.6 seconds ahead of his countryman.

However, Hungary has a longer history in motor racing. In fact, it dates back to 1936 when the first ever Hungarian GP was organized over a 5km long track laid out in Népliget, one of the most famous park of the marvellous Budapest. Three teams, the Alfa Romeo-equipped Ferrari, Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz all sent three cars. The event was witnessed by a large crowed. It was, however, not enough to continue the Grand Prix history book of Hungary and it was only reopened some 50 years later.

Interesting facts
Formula One races are held in the middle of summer which means scorching hot weather welcome the field of the Flying Circus. Interestingly, the first wet race was held in 2006 which saw Jenson Button claiming the first win of his career.

Lewis Hamilton is the record holder with his five wins on the circuit. The Briton won four times driving for McLaren-Mercedes and he crossed the finish-line first in his Mercedes last year. From the current drivers, four others conquered the twisty layout. Sebastian Vettel went on to win for Ferrari in 2015, Daniel Ricciardo scored his second carrier win in 2014, Kimi Räikkönen won for McLaren-Mercedes in 2005 while the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso claimed his first ever triumph in 2003 in a blisteringly hot Grand Prix.

McLaren hold the record of number of wins with 11, Williams won seven times, Ferrari six times while both Red Bull and Mercedes prove to be the fastest two times.

There is a water-experience park directly next to race track. With its 26 water slides, it is waiting for the fans to jumping into the refreshing water after a scorching day at the race track. Many decide to follow the race action in the park barrelling down on the monstrous slides.

Among the main sponsors were Pop 84, Marlboro, Shell, Agip, ING, Eni, LG and Pirelli over the history of the Hungarian GP.

The track has been offering many events to visit over the last years. Next to the Formula 1 Grand Prix, races of various racing series have been held like DTM, FIA Formula 3, FIA WTCC, Blancpain Series, Ferrari Challenge, International GT Series, Formula Renault.

Budapest, favourite of fans
Hungary may be one of the smallest countries of Europe, but Budapest is rightly among the most beautiful, amazing, attractive and exciting cities. It is no wonder visitors usually fall in love with the city instantly. The Hungarian capital is one of the largest city of Europe dominating the tourism, the economy, recreation and entertainment sector of Hungary.

The capital with an estimated 2016 population of 1.7 million is a leading global city with strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education and entertainment. The city is the home of the second largest stock exchange in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Budapest is also ranked as the most liveable Central and Eastern European City. Its has over 40 colleges and universities, including the Eötvös Lorand University, the Semmelweis University and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics which have been ranked among the top 500 in the world.

The city which has its roots in the ancient city of Aquincum lies on the banks of the Danube River. The west side is called Pest while Buda and Óbuda are located on the east bank. The three parts were unified in 1873.