Revving up for the Budapest Formula 1 Grand Prix

This year's Formula 1 championship season stretches over 19 races from March to November and the Hungarian chapter is roughly in the middle: the 11th Race will be held at the Budapest Hungaroring racetrack on 25th-27th July.

This track has seen its fair share of races: when people talk about the first Grand Prix race in Hungary, they normally think of the birth of the Hungaroring track in 1986, though actually there was an earlier version, (not formula 1 format of course)  held at the Népliget or people's park in 1936. It was won by Tazio Nuvolari in a Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo. The race was very popular, but political change and the coming war years put an end to it until decades later. Brabham team owner and Formual 1 executive Bernie Ecclestone had a big hand in the design and development of the Hungaroring track, - the first behind the Iron Curtain. It was built in just 8 months, a record never surpassed by any other track. A site was chosen at Mogyoród, 18km outside of Budapest, as this was seen as safer than the inner city course in places like Monaco. In fact the safety record at this location has remained excellent with some accidents but no fatalaties at the time of writing.

The Hungaroring has a reputation for being a tight and twisty track on which it is difficult to pass, and has been compared to the Monaco track. It has been the site of some epic races over the years. Nelson Piquet won the track's first race in 1986. Thierry Boutsen won an impressive duel with Ayrton Senna in 1990, a situation which was reversed in 1991. In 1997 Micheal Schumacher had one of the greatest starts ever, but was eventually beaten back to fourth place. In the 2006 wet and dry race, Fernando Alonso ran one of the best laps ever, advancing from 15th place to 6th on his first lap, though he eventually left the race. In that same year, Jenson Button won his first Grand Prix, right here at Hungaroring.

This year, on Sunday 27th, the main race will take place at 2pm, though there will be a driver's parade and pit lane viewing and all sorts of other activities from 09:30 onwards. The full timetable can be found here on the Hungaroring Website and pricing and tickets here.

 Images thanks to Wikimedia and the German Federal Archives