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F1 Tracks: Hungaroring - Hungarian Grand Prix

As the Cold War dragged on, Bernie Ecclestone pulled off a coup by organising the first Formula 1 race behind the Iron Curtain - the 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hosted at the Hungaroring near Budapest, the race has featured on the F1 calendar every year since and has changed very little with only a couple of corners being reprofiled to aid overtaking.

The circuit is somewhat looked down upon, having been compared to a go-kart track and has an unfair reputation for producing processional races.

But there have been a number of memorable events there, such as Jenson Button's maiden victory after starting 14th in 2006, and the 2021 race in which Lewis Hamilton lined up alone on the grid for a restart while everyone else took to the pits to switch tyres at the end of the formation lap.

The original start, on a damp track, had seen Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas misjudge his braking, triggering a multi-car pile-up.

Where is Hungaroring?

The circuit is located in the village of Mogyorod, just 13km from central Budapest in the north of Hungary.

When was Hungaroring first built?

Construction of the circuit began in October, 1985 and took just eight months to complete, with the first race being held there in March 1986.

How long is Hungaroring?

The Grand Prix circuit is unchanged since 2003 and measures 4.381km. Comprising 14 turns, the track has the lowest average speed on the calendar except for Monaco. 

Cars are set up for maximum downforce with top speed relatively unimportant.

When did Hungaroring first host an F1 race?

The first F1 Hungarian Grand Prix took place on 10th August 1986 - the circuit having built specifically for that purpose.

Nelson Piquet won the race for Williams having overtaken pole-sitter Ayrton Senna with a spectacular four-wheel drift move after a fierce battle.

Nigel Mansell finished third, but was a lap behind his victorious team-mate.

Who has won the most F1 races at Hungaroring?

Lewis Hamilton has claimed eight victories at the track, which is a joint-record for wins at a single circuit by any driver.

Hamilton has also won eight times at Silverstone, while Michael Schumacher managed the same number of victories at Magny Cours in France. 

Schumacher won four times in Budapest, sealing his fourth world championship with victory in 2001 which also saw him equal Alain Prost's then-record of 51 F1 wins.

Several drivers have claimed their maiden Formula 1 wins at the track including future world champions Damon Hill in 1993, Fernando Alonso in 2003 and Jenson Button in 2006.

Last year George Russell claimed his maiden, and to date only, pole position, though the race was won by Max Verstappen.

What is the F1 lap record at Hungaroring?

Hamilton holds the race lap record of 1min 16.627sec on the 70th and final lap of the 2020 race in his Mercedes.

Does Hungaroring host any other events?

The circuit hosted a round of the Motorcycle Grand Prix world championship in 1990 and 1992 but is generally little used outside of the F1 weekend.

A round of the International GT Open takes place there, and in 2023 the track will host a race in the inaugural season of the TCR World Tour touring car series.

What is the weather like at Hungaroring?

It's most often blisteringly hot and dry in Budapest at Grand Prix time, with temperatures pushing 40C not out of the ordinary.

The first wet race at the track was in 2006, but the track was dry by the end, while in 2021 the race started on a wet track but quickly dried out.

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