The Hungarian Grand Prix was first held in 1986 and has been staged continuously since then, for 33 years, with all races run at the Hungaroring in the height of summer. This event is usually the final round prior to the season’s summer break, when racing and all factory activity has to stop, creating a watershed moment in the year.
That means everyone wants to do well there, because there’s no better way to go on holiday than with the winner’s trophy from the Hungarian GP in your hands.
Fun and frustration at the Hungarian GP
When the Formula 1 circus first came here in ’86, Hungary wasn’t quite the Forbidden City, but it did provide a tantalising glimpse of life in “Eastern” Europe, with armed border guards, austere living conditions and a sense you were stepping back in time. It was often said that Budapest was a great city to go shopping if there was anything you had forgotten to buy in the Sixties!
These days, it’s a bustling modern city, apart from the magnificent historic buildings and its most appealing natural feature, the River Danube that cuts it into Buda and Pest, the two sides joined by some spectacular bridges.
The actual Hungaroring circuit is fun and frustrating all at the same time: driving a single lap of this twisty “Monaco without the barriers” is a challenge enjoyed by all the drivers, but on race day, the difficulties of overtaking, despite the main straight being lengthened a few years back, can make for the occasional traffic jam. Just one more reason why qualifying is so important in Hungary.
Join us later in the afternoon for the latest updates and results from the Hungaroring, as the qualifying session for the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix is about to get underway, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at the wheel of the SF90, ready to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull for pole position ahead of the race on Sunday.