Hungaroring

The Hungaroring located in Mogyoród in Hungary, is the home of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986 and was the first F1 race behind the notorious ‘Iron Curtain’’. Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver in Hungary.

 

Behind the 'Iron Curtain

In 1986 Bernie Ecclestone made headlines with the very first Formula 1 race behind the 'Iron Curtain'. The Berlin Wall was still standing and the West was still involved in the Cold War with the East. Ecclestone surprises with his choice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

In Hungary, however, people worked hard behind the scenes to get make it happen. Where the idea is first to build a street circuit like Monaco in Népliget (the largest park of the capital Budapest), the circuit is finally built by the government just next to the city in Mogyoród.

Never a rain race

The Grand Prix is generally held in the summer and it is therefore not surprising that until 2006, Hungary was the only Grand Prix where it never rained during a race. In 2006 this changed and it was Jenson Button with his Honda who gave the audience a big surprise.

The circuit in Hungary has a unique character in that respect. It is very narrow and very winding, which is why it is also called Monaco without walls. Overtaking is almost impossible and so tactics play an important role. Thierry Boutsen manages to win in 1990 in his Williams, by keeping Ayrton Senna behind him in the faster McLaren.

Michael Schumacher

In the early years of the Hungarian Grand Prix it was the Brazilians who triumphed the most. Nelson Piquet wins the first two editions and Ayrton Senna wins another three in the following five seasons. Senna and Piquet remain at the top for a long time, until Michael Schumacher appears on stage in 1994.

Schumacher doesn't win much in a row, but in the end he wins four times at the Hungaroring. He first wins in 1994, before winning in 1998, 2001 and 2004 in Mogyoród. However, after Schumacher there is another driver on the track who knows how to deal with the twisty Hungary: Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton is the best

Hamilton knows how to win, even if he doesn’t has the best car. For example, he won in 2009, 2012 and 2013 if he does not really compete for the world title with McLaren and Mercedes respectively. 

In 2007 he and Fernando Alonso do have the best car, but they eliminate themselves by deliberately waiting in the pit lane during qualifying, so Hamilton couldn't drive another lap. It was a waste of effort, because Hamilton won anyway and Alonso finished fourth.

In the meantime, the odometer has reached seven, after Hamilton also wins in 2016, 2018 and 2019. Max Verstappen takes his first pole of his career in 2019 on this circuit, but has to settle for second place in the final lap of the race. Mercedes' strategic move turns out to be too powerful for Red Bull Racing to help Verstappen to achieve an otherwise almost certain victory. 

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