It is the Hungaroring once again to play host to the last race before the well-deserved August summer break kiks off. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó picks out the vital facts ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Today’s Hungarian Grand Prix will be the 37th F1 race in Hungary. The track that is situated just on the outskirts of Hungary’s capital Budapest made its debut in 1986 and has run uninterrupted since than. Only Monza has a record of a longer run of consecutive races.
Long history – Although Hungary joined the F1 circus in 1986, one needs to look back further for the first ever Hungarian Grand Prix. The first GP was held in 1936 over a 5km track laid out in Népliget, a park in Budapest. That race was only staged once with Alfa Romeo’s Tazio Nuvolari taking the victory.
Contract matters – The Hungaroring has been the venue for the Hungarian Formula 1 race since 1986. The current contract runs until the end of 2027. The original deal ran until 2026, but it was extended by one year after the 2020 race was forced to take place behind closed doors due to the outburst of the coronavirus pandemic.
King of the ring - Lewis Hamilton still holds the record for most wins in Hungary. The Briton has won eight times, taking victory both for McLaren and Mercedes. Michael Schumacher is the second most successful drivers with four triumphs followed by Ayrton Senna with three victories.
The fastest lap – The British seven-time world champion not only holds the record for most wins around the Hungaroring, but he also claims the fastest ever race lap. The Stevenage-born driver recorded a lap of 1m16.627s at the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Short – With 4381m, the Hungaroring is one of its shortest track on the current calendar. Fans usually love the short nature of the circuit as during the race they can witness the cars 70 times roaring past the grandstands. The total race distance is 306.630km. Drivers have to adhere to the speed limit of 80km/h in the rather tight and hence slightly dangerous pit lane.
Other records – Reigning world champion Max Verstappen secured his first pole position on the Hungaroring, setting the fastest lap in the qualifying session for the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix. When it comes to fastest laps, it is the German seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who holds the record with four.
Changes – The track reported that there have been no changes of significance since the last year’s race.
Drag reduction system - There will be two consecutive DRS zones at the Hungaroring sharing a detection point 5m before Turn 14. Activation points are 40m after Turn 14 and 6m after Turn 1.
Milestone - Five drivers have claimed a maiden F1 win at the Hungaroring. Damon Hill took his first victory in 1993, with Williams, Fernando Alonso scored his first win in 2003, with Renault, and Jenson Button scored his maiden victory here in 2006 with Honda. In 2008, it was Heikki Kovalainen who scored his first F1 win following the Felipe Massa’s engine blow-up in the closing stages of the race. Lat year saw Alpine’s racer Esteban Ocon take his first F1 triumph in the rain-affected race.
Not the softest – Although Formula One’s tyre supplier Pirelli has previously experimented by bringing the softest compounds to the Hungaroring, the Milan-based company has chosen the tyres in the middle of the range: C2 as the P Zero White hard, C3 as the P Zero Yellow medium, C4 as the P Zero Red soft.
Traction - The twisty Hungarian race course isn’t a particularly high-energy circuit, with smooth asphalt that’s sometimes bumpy in places, and the demands on tyres being more about traction than braking.