The first Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix, held in August of 1986, was the culmination of Bernie Ecclestone’s desire for the sport to venture beyond the Iron Curtain. After considering Moscow, the initial Hungarian plan was for a race to be held on the streets of the capital Budapest.
Hungarian Grand Prix History:
Sensing the opportunity for the local economy the Hungarian government decided to build a new modern circuit in Mogyoród, a small traditional and historic village close to the capital city of Budapest. The location was perfect, it was well connected by a major motor highway and set in a valley which offered spectators a near unhindered view of the circuit. The construction of the circuit commenced on 1 October 1985 and was completed in a record eight months. The inaugural race was held on 24 March 1986, in memory of János Drapál, the first Hungarian to win many motorcycle Grand Prix races.
Since then, the circuit has been revised three times. The first revision was in 1989 when the chicane at turn three was removed. In 2003, the start-finish straight was extended with changes made to the first, twelfth and fourteenth corners. This effectively reduced the circuit length from 4,014 meters to 3,975 meters. The third revision was in 2016 when the circuit was completely resurfaced, eliminating most of the bumps making it a smoother and faster circuit. The much feared “Double kerbs” similar to the ones at the Red Bull Ring were installed at turns four and eleven.
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Hungarian Grand Prix Facts :
Lewis Hamilton has won more Hungarian Grands Prix than any other driver, with his tally currently at eight. That’s a shared record for the most wins at a single circuit. Michael Schumacher also won eight times at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours during his career.
Hamilton holds the record for most poles at the track, having taken his eighth Hungarian Grand Prix pole in 2021.
McLaren have enjoyed more wins at the Hungarian Grand Prix than any other team, with 11.
Jenson Button took his first F1 victory at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, winning the race from fourteenth on the grid. It’s one of only two times, the other being Nigel Mansell in 1989, where the race has been won from further back than fourth on the grid.
Aside from Button, Damon Hill, Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen and Esteban Ocon all took their first F1 victories at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Hungaroring has seen F1 reach two century milestones. Heikki Kovalainen became the 100th F1 driver to win a World Championship Grand Prix here in 2008, while Max Verstappen became the 100th driver to start from pole at a Grand Prix at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix.
In every season from 2005 to 2017, the winner of the Hungarian Grand Prix failed to go on to win the Drivers’ Championship. In fact, in its history there have been only eleven occasions where the winner of the event has won the title in the same year.
Zsolt Baumgartner is the only Hungarian driver to have competed in the Hungarian Grand Prix since it joined the F1 calendar in 1986.
Two drivers have been disqualified from the Hungarian Grand Prix. Robert Kubica, on his Grand Prix debut, finished seventh but was later disqualified as his car was 2kg underweight. Sebastian Vettel was disqualified having finished second in 2021 as his car was unable to supply a fuel sample.
Ferrari have been present at every Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986, but it took until 1999 for both of their cars to reach the chequered flag in the same race here!
Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher are the only drivers to have claimed a World Championship in Hungary. Mansell took his only title at the track in 1992, while Schumacher took his fourth at the 2001 event.
Felipe Massa was the victim of a freak accident during qualifying for the 2009 race. He was struck in the head by a suspension component which broke away from Rubens Barichello’s Brawn GP car. Massa suffered a serious eye injury and was ruled out of racing for the remainder of the 2009 season.
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Hungarian Grand Prix Stats:
4.381km (14 turns)
70 laps (306.630 km)
1:16.627, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2020
1st Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 2:04:43.199
2nd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +2.736s
3rd Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +15.018s
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