Hungarian Grand Prix – One Of The Major Events Of The Summer

  • 30 Jun 2016 9:00 AM
Hungarian Grand Prix – One Of The Major Events Of The Summer
Classical. This is what it has become over the past years, the race track of Hungaroring. It was built almost three decades ago as a rarity of its time, for being the first one beyond the Iron Curtain, and now it is still special as the third behind Monte-Carlo and Monza to have continuously featured in the F1 race calendar.

Hungaroring is preparing for a great event, the 30th birthday of the track and the 31st Hungarian Grand Prix this year between 22-24 July, and for this occasion perhaps a little nostalgia is allowed, recalling the victory of Nelson Piquet at the first race held here – in front of three hundred-thousand (!) spectators. We also remember how Nigel Mansell (who always celebrated his birthday at us and once got a racehorse called Skala as a present) lost a wheel nut and with it the race itself, even though he had started from pole position in 1987.

Damon Hill's bad luck is also memorable („What happened to Damon Hill?") when in the final lap, due to a technical problem victory slipped his hands (1997), just as the great battles fought on the asphalt between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Jenson Button's rainy victory (his first) is just as much the part of the race track's history as Michael Schumaher or Lewis Hamilton's four Hungarian victories respectively or Sebastian Vettel, for whom Hungaroring had long been a castle not conquered, until finally he won his ninth victory at us, last year.

Among the many modern race tracks built in a uniform style, Hungaroring represents an older tradition, the classical style that has gained extra value for now. It is really popular with the drivers and the teams.

„The valley, the environment is beautiful and the proximity of the capital is a great attraction really to everyone. As for the track, during the winter break it received a new surface of asphalt, as the first phase of the planned developments" , says Zsolt Gyulay, president CEO of Hungaroring who is a two-time Olympic champion and member of the Olympic Committee, still amazed by the professionalism demonstrated by the teams. As he says, the reason why it is excellent to work with the field and staff members of Formula-1 is that they are quick to take up the pace.

„Everybody is highly disciplined here, as basically the whole of motorsport is. Also it demands professionalism to know that we play a part in one of the most, or perhaps the most viewed race series of the world, which means obligations for the pilots and the hosting countries alike" Gyulay adds.

Back to the Hungarian Grand Prix once more. It must not go unmentioned that our race has never been in danger in the past decades, what is more, once (in 2002) it won the prize of Run of the Year, that was received at the season closing gala of the international association.

An organic part of the race track's history that on Hungaroring, as the first Hungarian, Csaba Kesjár (who unfortunately later died in a tragic racing accident) drove a Formula-1 car in 1987, testing Zakspeed, and also here was the first run of Formula-1 of Zsolt Baumgartner's career (2003 – Jordan), who got the great opportunity after the accident and injury of Ralph Firmann, that resulted in his contract for a full season with Minardi in the following year.

Although there has not been a Hungarian driver in the Formula-1 in recent years, yet the Hungarian spectators are very important for Hungaroring, hoping to welcome them this year again at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where, following the tradition there will be the pit lane walk on Thursday afternoon (available with any ticket valid for the weekend), where the fans can meet the drivers and support them from the stands for the rest of the weekend.


Republished with permission

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