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The Hungaroring holds the distinction of being the first venue for Formula One behind the former 'Iron Curtain', having hosted top level racing continuously since 1986.


Racing behind the iron curtain

Motorsport has a long tradition in Hungary with races being organised on a street circuit in the Népliget park in Budapest as far back as the 1930s. In 1936, the Budapest Grand Prix was held at the circuit, Tazio Nuvolari winning in an Alfa Romeo.

After the Second World War, racing was slow to resume, but eventually engines fired up again, this time around an improvised course at Budapest's Ferihegy Airport. Formula Junior continued at Ferihegy for three years, before racing switched back to Népliget, continuing there into the 1970s.

By the 1980s, authorities were keen to promote tourism and raise the profile of the country through motor racing and talks began about hosting a Formula One race. The Népliget circuit was initially proposed, with the idea of creating a Monaco-style street race. However, this was soon rejected in favour of a modern, purpose-built facility.

Wall of Fame

Hankook 12H HUNGARY 2014
SPS automotive-performance - Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 - Pierburg, Müller, Arnold - 345 laps
12H HUNGARY 2013
Blancpain Racing - Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 - Hayek, Pronk, Kox - 344 laps
Hankook 12H HUNGARY 2011
VDS Racing Adventures - Ford Mustang - Van der Straaten, Schroyen, Bailly - 332 laps
Hankook 12H HUNGARY 2010
Lechner Racing - Audi R8 LMS - König, Mayr-Melnhof, Gruber, Lechner - 355 laps
Hankook 12H HUNGARY 2009
Schubert Motorsport - BMW Z4 M Coupe - Hürtgen, Sørlie, Viebahn - 350 laps
Hankook 12H HUNGARY 2008
Schubert Motorsport - BMW Z4 M Coupe - Hürtgen, Sørlie, Viebahn - 349 laps

Construction work started on October 1, 1985 and was completed in just eight months; at the time considerably less time than any other Formula One circuit had taken to construct. The initial layout had to be modified during construction when an underground spring forced the diversion from the planned course via a series of slow S-bends, slowing the lap considerably.

The first race was held on March 24, 1986, in memory of János Drapál, the Hungarian four-time Motorcycle Grand Prix winner who had been killed the year before in a race in Czechoslovakia. Later that year came the first F1 race, won by Nelson Piquet in front of a crowd of almost 200,000 enthusiasts from across the Eastern Bloc countries, Germany and Austria.



2146 Mogyoród, Hungaroring Pf. 10, Hungary
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hanges were made to the track in 1989, when the issues with the underground spring were finally resolved and the clumsy S-bends behind the pits were bypassed. Then, for the 2003 season, more fundamental changes were made when the final series of bends and the pit straight were altered, in order to provide a longer pit straight. A new, tighter, first corner does offer slightly more scope for overtaking and the racing has improved somewhat.

Today, in addition to the Formula One race, the Hungaroring also hosts rounds of the WTCC and DTM touring car series.

Since 2008, the Hungaroring has been a regular host to 12-hour races within the 24H SERIES.

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