Budapest played host to the seventh edition of the Great Run event which saw racing cars of very different nature conquering downtown Budapest. Max Verstappen made a quick visit to Budapest before the European leg of the 2019 FIA F1 Championship kicks off.
The Great Run (Nagy Futam in Hungarian) took place for the seventh consecutive time in the capital of Hungary, Budapest on the International Worker’s Day. The name of the event can be misleading as it is not a race event, it is a street demonstration for a wide variety of racing machines inlcuding Formula One, Formula E, touring and rally cars.
Over the years, the Great Run has established itself as a fixture on the calendar of Hungarian motorsport, setting the explicit target of bringing motorsport closer to race fans, allowing them to get in a proximity of race cars which they could never experience in a closed racing track.
The paddock was located in front of the marvellous St. Stephan’s Basilica where garages and tents formed two rows. The L-shaped track was established on the Andrassy Street, the most luxurious shopping street of the Hungarian capital.
In the morning, visitors had the chance to conquer the paddock and see the cars while teams were busy with preparing them for the mid-afternoon runs. The drivers and cars did not fail to impress, showing full dedication and motivation to dazzle and fascinate the adoring fans.
A beautiful day in Budapest
Red Bull presented the most fascinating race car at the event. The energy drink company-owned team brought its 2011 car, the RB7 to Budapest to the delight of thousands of fans.
“The RB7 is always great fun to drive,” said Verstappen afterwards, and he proved his point by pushing the 2011 title winner to the limit on the long run past the Opera House before turning some tyre-melting donuts opposite the square.
“It’s been a beautiful sunny day in Budapest for the show run. To make some noise with the RB7 and do some donuts with so many fans around the track was great. They are so passionate about Formula One. There are so many other athletes out here in a lot of different types of car as well, so it’s cool. It’s always good to catch up with the Red Bull athletes out here. I had a great day, and really enjoyed it,” Verstappen concluded.
The fully electric race series
Besides Sebastian Vettel’s 2011 car which helped the German secure his second World Championship title, fans were spoilt with very different cars in the sunny afternoon. The world's first fully electric single-seater racing series Formula E visited Hungary for the very first time. Mahindra driver Jerôme d’Ambrosio took his Formula E Gen2 car to the 2km-long street circuit to showcase the advanced electric technology.
The bunch of classic cars formed a unique atmosphere. The historic machines included a Formula V car, the Ferrari Mondial (1989), the Chevrolet-Corvette (1978), the Maserati 450S, the Porsche 911 (1965), the Datsun 240Z, the Lamborghini Espada (1971), the Porsche 356C (1964) and the Rolls-Royce Shadow (1972).
The Opel Dakar Team was also glad to be part of the scene. Hungarian rally star Balazs Szalay took his Opel Grandland X to the track, even if its natural sandy surface was missing. Touring cars were represented by the Seat Cupra cars of the Hungarian Zengő Team and home hero touring car racer Norbert Michelisz.
Many other super cars were running past the amazing neo-classical buildings on the specially laid out track, including Ford Mustang, Mitsubishi Lancer, BMW M2, Dodge Challenger, Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo.