Held at the height of the European summer, the Hungaroring provides F1 with an ‘end of term’ feeling.
Formula 1 broke new ground when it first visited Hungary, with 1986’s Hungarian Grand Prix the first to be held beyond the Iron Curtain. Plans for a street race in Budapest were changed when the Communist authorities decided to build a new racing circuit 20km outside of the capital.
One of the shortest tracks of the season, the Hungaroring is a notoriously tricky track to overtake at, and is sometimes referred to as ‘Monaco without the buildings’. Often held as the final race before the summer break, the Grand Prix usually takes place on a very warm summer afternoon – aside from the rain-hit events in 2006, 2011 and 2014.
The wet Grands Prix have provided some of the most memorable races at the Hungaroring, with Jenson Button taking his first victory in 2006 and Daniel Ricciardo providing an overtaking masterclass to win in 2014. Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher have each won the title here, Mansell winning in 1992, and Schuamcher taking his fourth title victory at the track in 2001.
The track offers great views for fans, with 80% of the circuit being visible from some grandstands. Around 100,000 fans attend the event annually, though that figure is expected to grow in 2019 thanks to the return of Robert Kubica. The track doesn’t see masses of events each year, with just seven weekends of racing action in 2019, with other highlights including the WTCR and the Hungaroring classic.
In 2020, the Hungarian Grand Prix was staged without spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Hungarian Grand Prix has a contract with Formula 1 in place until 2027.
Train: The closest train station to the Hungaroring is around a 40-minute walk away. Tickets are cheap but the trains do get overcrowded during peak times over the Grand Prix weekend.
Bus: There is a free bus service from Stadion autóbusz-pályaudvar over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend which will take you to Mogyoród (Templom tér), which is a 40-minute walk from the circuit gates.
Car: The Hungaroring is located just off the M3 motorway and is a 20-minute drive from the city center. Access can take longer on Grand Prix weekend due to the volume of traffic and beware of the narrow roads to the circuit. Trackside parking is free. Rent a car in Budapest.
Taxi: TaxiPlus, 6 x 6 Taxi and City Taxi are all official Hungarian Grand Prix taxi companies. A benefit to their service is that they use a special VIP road which will get you to the circuit in around 30 minutes – quicker than travelling in your own car. Expect to pay no more than €38 for a taxi from the city center to the circuit.
The Hungaroring circuit is located around 20km north west of Budapest’s city center. The most popular accommodation options for the Grand Prix weekend are to stay in the city centre or to camp trackside.
Zengo is the only permanent campsite next to the track so we recommend camping here. You can expect to pay around €20-30 per person per night. Camping at the Hungaroring is not recommended if you are travelling with children as, while there is a good, friendly atmosphere, it can occasionally get rowdy and drunken.
In Budapest, there are a range of hostels, apartments and hotels available. We recommend staying on the Pest side of the city, as there are more amenities such as restaurants and bars. Nevertheless, the Buda side of the city is quieter and more picturesque.
Guided tours of the Hungaroring are available throughout the year, but must be booked in advance.
About: Guided tours of the Hungaroring, which must be booked in advance, include visits to the Paddock and Pits, Race Control and the Formula 1 Podium. If there’s no on-track action at the time, you will also be taken on a lap or two of the circuit in a bus.
Cost: €9 for adults, €6 for students (minimum 4 people)
Learn more about driving experiences and track days at the Hungaroring, which are held regularly during the summer months.
Track Days: the Hungaroring is opened several times each year for open days; 20-minute track sessions start at 10,000 HUF (approx. €30). More information and online registration is here. (information about open track days for motorbikes is here) For a list of private track days coming up this year, click here.
Passenger Experiences: get driven around the circuit by a professional driver in everything from a Suzuki Swift to a Porsche Cayman GT4. Prices from 20,000 HUF (approx. €60). More info and bookings here.
Driving Experiences: various on-track driving experiences are also offered at the Hungaroring, though none of them involve single-seat race cars. Prices start at 40,000 HUF (approx. €120) for two laps. More information and bookings here. (an off-road center offering different driving experiences is also based at the circuit)
Karting: a go-kart track is also located in the Hungaroring infield. An 8-minute session costs 2300 HUF (approx €7). Learn more here.
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