Hitting the Apex: Hungaroring

It’s Hungary Race Week! Read on for everything you need to know about the Hungaroring.

Written by Mees Drijgers

July 21, 2023

The Hungaroring is a motorsport circuit located in Mogyórod, a city in Pest County near the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Originally F1 management, which was led by Bernie Ecclestone at the time, planned on building a street circuit similar to the Circuit de Monaco in Népliget, one of Budapest’s largest parks. It was later decided an entirely new circuit was to be built just outside the city. Construction of the circuit started in October 1985 and was completed just 8 months later, which was the fastest construction of a circuit at the time. In 1986, the Hungarian Grand Prix was first held at the track, and it has been on the F1 calendar ever since.

The first changes to the track layout took place in 1989, when the chicane after Turn 3 was removed. In 2003, the main straight was lengthened by about 200 metres, and the hairpin at the end of the straight was tightened to try and improve overtaking. This lengthened the full track from 3.975 to 4.381 km.

Photo via @alpinef1team on Instagram

The Hungaroring has seen many drivers take their maiden win: Hill in 1993, Alonso in 2003, Button in 2006, Heikki Kovalainen in 2008, and Esteban Ocon in 2021. Two drivers were crowned world champion at the circuit, namely Mansell in 1992 and Schumacher in 2001. Williams won the Constructors Championship at the Hungaroring in 1996, Ferrari managed to do so in 2001, 2002, and 2004.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Track distance: 4.381 km / 2.722 miles

  • DRS zones: 2

  • Corners: 14

  • Elevation: 34.6 metres

  • Laps: 70

  • Race lap record: 1:16.627 Lewis Hamilton (2020)

  • Direction: clockwise

According to F1.com, Hungaroring configuration for this year is as follows:

 

PREVIOUS TYRE COMPOUNDS

  • Selected compounds in 2022: C4 (soft) C3 (medium) C2 (hard)

  • Selected compounds in 2021: C4 (soft) C3 (medium) C2 (hard)

Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver at the circuit with a total of 8 wins. He also holds the pole position record at the Hungaroring, scoring a total of 8 poles. McLaren is the most successful constructor with 11 wins.

Photo via @alphataurif1 on Instagram

Due to the track being underused throughout the year and the sandy soil it has been built on, the track is usually very dusty. Normally, the track rubbers in as the weekend progresses, but this only happens at the Hungaroring during qualifying, which often results in drivers trying to set their laps as late as possible. The track is very twisty and bumpy, and with the lack of straights at the Hungaroring, this makes overtaking very difficult. This is why it has earned the nickname “Monaco without barriers”.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

  • 2022 Max Verstappen

  • 2021 Esteban Ocon

  • 2020 Lewis Hamilton

  • 2019 Lewis Hamilton

  • 2018 Lewis Hamilton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mees was introduced to the world of F1 by one of her friends in July 2020 and hasn’t missed a race weekend since. Her favourite drivers are Alex Albon, Lewis Hamilton, Oscar Piastri, and George Russell; outside of F1, she also actively supports Liam Lawson and Callum Ilott. She specialises in writing about F2, but is looking to specialise in FE and IndyCar as well, after starting to watch both series in 2022. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture, she is currently getting MA degrees in Translation and English Literature & Culture. When she’s not watching motorsport, she’s either watching football matches (preferably Real Madrid), reading a book, or watching streams on Twitch.

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