One of Europe’s most visually stunning cultural centres, Hungary’s capital Budapest is a bustling drawcard for more than 4 million tourists each year.
… who flock to the nation’s most populous city for its architecture, art and nightlife, and its events, including the Red Bull Air Race in June. And this week, Formula 1…
… its Grand Prix hosted at classic circuit the Hungaroring – where there’s racing and events all-year round, including sportscars; its debut on the F1 calender in 1986, from behind the Iron Curtain.
Nelson Piquet taking the inaugural win for Williams, ahead of countryman Ayrton Senna, racing for Lotus.
Lewis Hamilton has since become the most successful in Budapest – with five victories. One more than Michael Schumacher, and two more than Senna. Six drivers, including Sebastian Vettel, have two.
But, a victory in Hungary doesn’t always lead to the title – with the last to do so Schumacher in 2004, ahead of his seventh and final crown.
Located just 20 minutes from downtown Budapest, the 4.381-kilometre track features 14 turns – seven left, and seven right – and a top speed of 315 kilometres an hour. Schumi’s 2004 lap record remains. While there are two DRS activation zones: one along the pit straight, and another following on to Turn 2. There is just a single DRS detection point - at the entrance to Turn 14.
Given it’s difficult to pass there, qualifying is fundamental for a good result in Budapest, with 14 of the last 32 race winners coming from pole position. And the lap a technical challenge for the drivers…
AUDIO QUOTE (English) NICO HÜLKENBERG,
F1 DRIVER, RENAULT:
“Yeah it’s quite a tricky lap. It’s a lot of corner combinations and all the corners are somehow hooked up and connected to each other so you need to find a good rhythm and get a good flow to produce good lap times here. Good confidence and a good balance is usually key.”
And while Hungary will be a key chance for Red Bull Racing to capitalise on its strong chassis, Ferrari will also be pushing to come back from its Hockenheim defeat – with a lot of support there traditionally for the Scuderia.
SOUNDBITE (English) SEBASTIAN VETTEL,
4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“I think it's a great place to be. Obviously, it’s always got a lot of fans, which are usually very enthusiastic and love Formula 1 being in town. So the whole city of Budapest is enjoying Formula 1 and usually on Sunday there’s a lot of people coming.”
Tight and twisty, it’s time to get hungry for racing in Budapest.