Hungarian F1 Grand Prix
Circuit Information Page
Location: Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary
Start Time - Local : 14:00 - GMT : 12:00
Lap : 4.381kms / 2.722miles | Race : 70 laps (306.630kms / 190.539miles) | Offset : 0.040kms
When Bernie Ecclestone (he has a road named after him at the Circuit ) announced that for 1986 he would be taking Grand Prix racing into the Eastern Bloc many observers were simply stunned. Remember that this was several years before the thawing of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain was still firmly in place. For a number of years there had been talk of the possibility of a street race around Moscow but nothing ever came of that effort so Ecclestone turned to the Hungarian government to fill the gap.
The result was a modern Grand Prix complex built with Formula One specifically in mind. The Hungaroring has hosted the Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986 but is not the best liked of tracks amongst the drivers. Bumpy and slippery, there is limited scope for overtaking with no fast corners, which can make the race rather processional in nature.
Grid position is therefore all important, as is a high down force and the circuit is second only to Monaco in this respect.
The first three races were run on a marginally longer circuit than is in use today because an additional kink had be installed to bypass a underground spring, only discovered during construction. By 1990 that problem had been solved and the circuit has remained relatively unchanged since then.
To increase overtaking the layout of the track was changed in 2003 to the current configuration.
Most teams seem to enjoy their annual summer trip to Budapest - fine weather helps - and the locals come in great numbers. The first race was attended by over 200,000 curious fans although recent years have seen that figure drop to around 50-60,000. Set in a natural amphitheatre spectators have excellent views of virtually all the circuit from most places, regardless of their number.
A Quick Lap:
From the Start-Finish line it's full power to Turn 1 with speeds approaching 175 mph. Turn 1 is a long, right-hand downhill bend taking the drivers through 180 degrees, entered in 3rd gear at 75 mph, exited in 4th at 135 mph. The camber on this corner can also catch drivers out or, at the very least, see them slipping out of the drive line and into the dirty sections of the track, which does not benefit their tyre's or subsequent grip. Entry and exit positions are also important as the corner is blind. A short straight brings the cars into Turn 2 and then Turn 3 and here there is a choice of two lines, but whether the car turns in early or late makes little difference to the amount of oversteer experienced as this long left-hander begins to sweep right. Turn 2 is entered at 135 mph, slowing to 70 mph before accelerating out of Turn 3 at 115 mph.
Cars approach Turn 4 leaving the straight at around 170 mph, changing down from top to 4th gear while braking to 110 mph before climbing uphill on the approach to Turn 5 - another long right-hander negotiated in 3rd gear at 80 mph and accelerated out of in 4th gear to 150 mph.
Turn 6 leads to the highest part of the circuit and is a right-left chicane that is entered in 2nd gear at 55 mph and exited in 5th at 115 mph. Turn 7 comes quickly and the approach to this left-hander is bumpy. Third gear maintained throughout, 75 mph being the slowest point at the apex of the curve. Turn 8 is a right-hander and is taken in 3rd gear at 85 mph with the left-hander taken flat out. A curving straight forms Turn 9 and leads into Turn 10 which is not as fast as it looks as the corner suddenly tightens. It is taken in 4th at 110 mph.
Turn 11 is an off-camber and downhill right-left chicane which always seems to gather particles of grit, whilst a high kerb awaits the unsuspecting at the second apex. It is taken in 3rd gear at 90 mph. Turn 12 is almost a hairpin-like corner directly behind the pits and it´s taken in 2nd at 60 mph. A long right-hander marks Turn 13, which mirrors Turn 1. Through it, the cars first oversteer, turning to understeer by the time they exit on to the straight via the kerb. Around 80 mph sees the cars through the apex of the curve from which they power towards 175 mph as they flash across the Start-Finish line.