12 interesting facts about the Hungaroring
1) Bernie Eccleston, the "father" of Formula 1, wanted a circuit in Central Europe - Hungary - as early as the 1980s, because at that time the situation was the best politically and economically, and we were the closest to Western Europe.
2) At first, it was thought that the most ideal place would be Városliget (The City Park), but the city council wouldn't allow it because there are a lot of old, historic buildings in the area and there has been a zoo there since the 19th century. According to one anecdote, Ecclestone promised to buy us a new elephant for the zoo every year if the animals couldn't survive the noise. :) Of course the city council said no.
3. The F1 drivers and riders were then hiking in the Mogyoród Mountains, and it was then that they first saw the beautiful views in the valley, and fell in love with them instantly. They knew it would be the ideal place for a track.
4. The grandstands are on the side of the mountain, so it's the only course where you can see at least 25% of the course from wherever you sit.
5. They started building the course in September 1985 and had their first race in August 1986. The MONZA track was the fastest built and the HUNGARORING was the second fastest track built.
6. The HUNGARORING is a track with lots of bends and where everything depends on the skill and talent of the driver, not the car! That's why the first significant successes were achieved here, showing the great talents.
- Daemon Hill (1993 / favourite track)
- Fernando Alonso (2004)
- Button (2006)
- and Robert Kubica, who made his first start here in 2006 with BMW, after Willeneuve was sacked...
7. Kubica was 8th at the time, and only didn't get any points because M. Schumacher insisted on having Kubica's car checked, looking for minor irregularities. Scoring points in the first race is a huge success and shows talent.
8. The circuit has won several awards, e.g. "Best organisation" and "Best TV coverage" (back then the national TV was running the circuit, now LG) When in 1990 Nigel Mensel's wheel nut got badly fixed and fell off, bouncing on the concrete: only the Hungarian cameraman noticed and his film won the "Best Film shot in F1" award that year.....
9. A spring fell off Barichello's car and hit Massa's eye, causing him to lose his sight almost permanently... He was treated at the Honvéd Hospital in Budapest, successfully.
10. A few years ago, new pits were built and the track was resurfaced. A Hungarian company close to the government made a bid of 20 billion forints, but for political reasons they did not take over the paving, but Swietelsky for 4 billion forints.
11. For the 2023 Grand Prix, almost all tickets are now (November 2022) sold out, so they are working on building new grandstands.
12. The Hungarian circuit and the F1 drivers have signed a long contract until 2037.
Want more information about the Hungaroring? Or would you like a Budapest city tour when you visit the F1 this summer?