The Formula 1 World Championship arrives in Hungary for its eleventh round, marking the mid-point of the season. The Hungaroring first appeared on the calendar in 1986 and has been a permanent fixture ever since. Last year, it was the third round of the season and now it returns to its traditional slot, prior to the summer break.
Difficult overtaking. The Hungarian track is just a few kilometres from the centre of Budapest and is rarely used, which is why the track is usually very dirty for Friday practice. Although it is just 4.381 kilometres long, it features no fewer than 14 corners, 8 to the right and 6 to the left. The start-finish straight provides the best overtaking opportunity on the run to Turn 1, a downhill right-hander. After a few hundred metres, the second corner is also downhill, although this time to the left, offering another potential passing place. Turn 4 marks the start of the twisty section which requires the cars to run a high downforce aero set-up. It features a slow chicane and two hairpins to end the lap, leading onto the main straight.
Programme. After the experimental timetable adopted for the Sprint Qualifying format at Silverstone, it’s back to normal this weekend. The cars take to the track at 11.30 local time on Friday for the first hour of free practice, followed by the second at 15. On Saturday, the final hour of free practice begins at noon, in preparation for qualifying at 15. The 36th Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix gets underway at the same time on Sunday.
GP entered 1018
Seasons in F1 72
Debut Monaco 1950 (A. Ascari 2nd; R. Sommer 4th; L. Villoresi ret.)
Wins 238 (23.38%)
Pole positions 230 (22.59%)
Fastest laps 254 (24.95%)
Total podiums 775 (25.38%)
Ferrari Stats Hungarian GP
GP entered 35
Debut 1986 (S. Johansson 4th; M. Alboreto ret.)
Wins 7 (20%)
Pole positions 8 (22.86%)
Fastest laps 9 (25.71%)
Total podiums 25 (23.81%)
Hungarian Grand Prix: facts & figures
14. The furthest back on the grid from which the Hungarian Grand Prix has been won. Jenson Button was the driver in question in 2006, in a rain-affected race. Even more memorable was Nigel Mansell’s drive from 12th to the win, in dry conditions at the wheel of the Ferrari F1-89. The key move was the Englishman’s pass on Ayrton Senna as the Brazilian hesitated when coming up to lap Stefan Johansson in the Onyx.
16. The circuits that have only hosted a Grand Prix with a single name. Monte Carlo holds the record with its 67 Monaco Grands Prix, while the Hungaroring is second, as the only venue for all 35 editions of the Hungarian race. Third on this list is Zandvoort that has hosted the Dutch GP 30 times, with the 31st scheduled for 5 September.
20. The average number of overtaking moves in the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Hungaroring has actually hosted some thrilling races, with many changes of position, but it has also been the scene of several rather dull ones. In 2002 there was just one pass; in 2001 two and on five other occasions, three. However, in 2014 there were no fewer than 49, in 2011 47 and in the first edition in 1986 there were 44.
1300. The number of thermal springs recorded in Hungary, with around 300 different types of water. Budapest boasts more spas for health and wellbeing – over 130 – than any other European city.
350.000.000. The number of Rubik’s Cubes (Rubik-kocka in Hungarian) sold worldwide up to 2009. The famous puzzle was invented in Budapest by professor of architecture and sculptor Erno Rubik, in 1974. It is reckoned to be the most popular one person-game in the world.
This week in our history
28/7. In 1924, Luigi Musso was born in Rome. From an early age his interest in motor racing was kindled by his elder brothers and he soon got himself noticed. He was the last of an extraordinary generation of Italian drivers from the Fifties. He won once in Formula 1, in the 1956 Argentine Grand Prix at the wheel of a Ferrari D50. The following year, he finished third in the championship with the 801. Musso also raced sports cars for the Scuderia, winning the 1958 Targa Florio in a works 250 Testa Rossa, teamed with the Belgian Olivier Gendebien. Musso lost his life that same year during the French Grand Prix.
29/7. In 1951, Alberto Ascari took his first Formula 1 win, the German Grand Prix, at the wheel of a 375 F1. It was Scuderia Ferrari’s second ever victory. In second place came José Froilán González, who a few weeks earlier had given the team its maiden win at Silverstone. Germany was the team’s first ever one-two finish in Formula 1.
30/7. In Hungary in 2017, Scuderia Ferrari recorded its 83rd one-two finish in Formula 1 courtesy of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen, who had ensured an all-Ferrari front row with the SF70H in qualifying.
31/7. In 1994, Gerhard Berger scored Scuderia Ferrari’s first win in three years. The Austrian led the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim from the first to the last lap at the wheel of a 412 T1.
1/8. In 1999, perfect team-work delivered the best possible result in the German Grand Prix. At Hockenheim, Mika Salo was at the wheel of the number 3 F399, standing in for the injured Michael Schumacher. The Finn produced an amazing performance in the first part of the race to set up his team-mate Eddie Irvine for the win, as he was fighting Mika Häkkinen for the World Championship title. Having let Irvine by, Salo followed him home to record the Scuderia’s 45th one-two finish.