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Formula 1

Hungarian GP likely to stay into 2030s, track tweaks possible

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
3 min read

The Hungarian Grand Prix is likely to stay on the Formula 1 calendar well into the 2030s with a long-term deal during which tweaks could be made to the track layout.

Last year Hungaroring chiefs agreed a one-year extension for the grand prix, which has strong national government support, taking its present deal to 2027.

The Race understands there is provision for a further five-year arrangement within that, while representatives from F1 and the government have discussed a deal in principle that would run until 2037.

Such a long-term agreement is unusual in F1 but is believed to reflect the Hungarian government’s support and a long-held desire to upgrade the aged Hungaroring facility.

The track was built in less than a year to host the first Hungarian GP in 1986 and the infrastructure itself has not had any major changes since.

Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring (hun) 08 10 08 1986

To commit to the spending required to update the main entrance and pit buildings, the circuit wants to have a long-term guarantee of the race’s future.

There are also suggestions that the Hungaroring could be modified in the coming years, with F1 and the FIA conducting simulations on what is possible.

This is in the interest of creating an extra overtaking opportunity, given the circuit’s reputation for producing processional races, but it is not believed to be a condition of a longer Hungary deal.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said during the Hungarian GP weekend that if a circuit change could be made with confidence that the race would improve it is worth pursuing.

Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Hungarian Grand Prix 2021 Hungaroring

“You have such a competent manager with Ariane [Frank-Meulenbelt], that she knows exactly what the sport needs here and she’s been one of the great promoters that we have in Formula 1,” said Wolff.

“Every track has pros and cons and this one we love coming to Hungary. It was the first grand prix in Central Eastern Europe and the buzz in the city is tremendous.

“If you could point to one single negative aspect, and this is the only one I can find among 100 positives, is that the overtaking opportunities are very limited with these very efficient cars.

“You can see even in F3 there is literally even with DRS no overtaking.

F3 Hungary

“Maybe we can work on some improvements in terms of overtaking but if in doubt, leave it like it is, don’t change a winning formula.”

The circuit has been significantly altered on two occasions since it opened.

In 1989 a chicane was removed to create what is now the Turn 3 kink and straight uphill to Turn 4.

Hungarian Grand Prix 2002

And in 2003 the start-finish straight was extended, Turn 1 was modified and tightened from the slightly more sweeping layout pictured above in 2002. An extended straight leading to a modified Turn 12 was introduced for the final sector. Those changes were initial moves to increase overtaking chances.

The track has also been resurfaced in recent years and kerbs have been altered as well.

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