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Formula 1 circuit

Credit: Mercedes
Vital statistics for Hungaroring
Race debut1986
Results for the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix
Pole positionSebastian Vettel
Race winnerSebastian Vettel
Fastest lapFernando Alonso

The Hungarian circuit has not been known for providing entertaining racing action, as the narrow track hinders most overtaking opportunities. However, in recent years, the addition of DRS and Pirelli's tricky tyres has allowed the action to increase. Rain is an unusual sight at the Hungaroring, although when the inclement weather does arrive, it mixes things up magnificently. With 14 corners, and just one medium length straight, the track is a slow addition to the F1 calendar.

F1 history

As the final race before the summer break, the pressure is always hanging over the Hungarian Grand Prix to deliver something spectacular to tide fans over the month-long wait for another race. Unfortunately, the track rarely manages to achieve such a feat, and even with the recent introductions of unpredictable tyres and drag reduction systems, overtaking is still something that only happens occasionally.

The new technologies have proved a step in the right direction, and the racing has been less processional of late, but the Hungaroring still tends to be memorable for incidents rather than racing. The track suffers at a very basic level, because, whilst not strictly a street circuit, it has the same problems that come from racing around predefined roads. Twisting and narrow, with few opportunities for natural overtaking, combined with the heat and dense conditions, the track is more of a reliability and endurance event than a fast and furious Grand Prix.

The lap starts with a sprint to the first corner, a tight right hairpin that bunches up the field at the start of the race, and is heavy on braking through the rest of the afternoon. Heading downhill, the sweeping corners begin, taking drivers through some smaller straights until they get to the twisting third sector. The bumpy track makes life difficult for drivers, as they navigate they arc round the final few corners and return to the start/finish straight.

The track doesn’t see much use outside of an F1 race weekend, so grip levels are low when the practice sessions begin. Support racing and as much running as possible through the Friday and Saturday morning always help to clear up the track and by the time qualifying begins, drivers have usually stopped complaining about the slippery surface.

It’s surprising that the Hungarian race remains on the calendar, considering how many other tracks would like a space on the ever-expanding list of F1 hosts. However, organisers have signed a multi-year contract with Formula One to host a race until 2022, and so no matter how exciting the season is, the Hungaroring will still be there to bring things to an abrupt halt before the summer break kicks in.

Learn more about Hungary with the Pocket F1 Handbook.