Hungarian Grand Prix: Hungaroring

Hungaroring (draskovic /

Opened in 1986 the Hungaroring is one of the more popular spots on the Formula 1 calendar. The track has been the focal point for races throughout Europe for a number of years now and with offers the drivers a chance to showcase their skills on the track situated just outside of Mogyorod, Hungary.

As it’s one of the last few stops on the European swing for F1, the drivers are often greeted with hot conditions. Although, as with most race in Europe, there have been times where heavy rainfall has disrupted the race, offering new challenges to the drivers for the fast, sweeping track. 


Swap Start/End

Circuit Info

Location Length Corners Capacity Year Opened
Mogyoród 4.381km 14 70,000 1986

Circuit Layout

F1 Track Map Hungary

With the extreme heat that can occur and the often dry conditions for the land surrounding the racetrack, many races often start with a light covering of dust on them. But, as the race wears on, this dust is removed, and the track tends to speed up. 

Another reason for the build-up of dust is that the track doesn’t see an awful lot racing throughout the years, which means there is not an awful lot in the way of clearing that takes place. But, one of the key things about the track is that it’s in a bit of valley, which means great vantage points for the fans. In fact, around 80% of the entire circuit is in full view to the majority of fans over race weekend. 

The build up of rubber that occurs on the track is a catalyst that often makes it speed up, but as the dust can build up so quickly from the surrounding areas, it doesn’t have as much of an effect here than most. What you will find though is that drivers will leave their fastest qualifying laps until as late as possible, which is the time when the track is at its most clear. 

One of the key features to the track is that it’s fairly uneven, with many bumps and twists running throughout. This then makes it much harder to find overtaking spots, coupled with the fact that there are few chicanes and hairpin turns as well. It’s often been referred to as “Monaco without the buildings” such is the difficulty to find safe passing spots. 

The length of the track is another area that has seen quite a lot of change over the years as well. Originally it was set up just over 4km in total length, with alternations in 1989 reducing that to 3.975km. But, the most recent changes that came about in 2003 has meant that the track now covers around 4.381km with 14 turns in total. Michael Schumacher still holds the lap record that he set in his Ferrari in 2004, with a time of 1 minute 19.071 seconds. 

Recent Winners

YearDriverCarFastest Lap
2017 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.20.807
2016 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.23.849
2015 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.26.772
2014 Daniel ricciardo Red Bull 1.26.608
2013 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.24.647

Other Racing at Hungaroring

ROSBK Event at Hungaroring
ROSBK Event at Hungaroring (bocosb /

As mentioned previously, other racing is pretty limited at the Hungaroring. But, they have enjoyed the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, World Series by Renault and the FIA GT Championships. 

There have been talks to try and get the Moto GP to attend as well, although at the time of writing, these discussions were still on going with no confirmed date set. 


Hungarian Grand Prix, 2014
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix (Artzzz /

It was Bernie Ecclestone who was one of the driving forces behind getting a race based in Western Europe. Initially he wanted to try and get in with the USSR at the time, but instead he was approached by a friend who suggested that Hungary might be a better fit.

Track Design

Plans were set out in 1985 to create the Hungaroring and took just over a year before for the first races were held there. The track that they wanted to design was a street circuit initially, given the success that the Monaco Grand Prix was seeing at the time. The circuit was going to be laid out within the largest park in Hungary, but the government intervened stating that this wasn’t going to plausible.

So, instead they built it just a few miles out of the city of Mogyorod, located not to far from a main highway. The construction work took just 8 months in total, which is the fastest that a Formula 1 track has even been made, starting from the ground up. As a result of the Grand Prix, the city of Mogyorod is officially the third most visited place in Hungary, trailing that of only the Danube and Lake Balaton. 

Memorable Races

In terms of racing, the track has seen a host of memorable races over the years, such as the duel between Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell’s lost wheel in 1997. Mansell’s win in 1989 will forever be remembered as one of the best races of all time, coming from 12th in the grid to come back and win. But, what was probably most impressive was that he had to pass the great Ayrton Senna on the way.