The Hungaroring is a racing circuit in Mogyoród, near Budapest, Hungary where the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix is held. In 1986, it became the location of the first Formula One Grand Prix behind the Iron Curtain. Bernie Ecclestone wanted a race in the USSR, but a Hungarian friend of his recommended Budapest. They wanted a street circuit similar to the Circuit de Monaco to be built in the Népliget – Budapest's largest park – but the government decided to build a new circuit just outside the city near a major highway.
Construction works started on October 1, 1985. It was built in eight months, less time than any other Formula One circuit. The first race was held on March 24, 1986 in memory of János Drapál, the first Hungarian who won motorcycle Grand Prix races. According to a survey put together by the national tourism office of Hungary, Mogyoród ranks third in Hungarian venues visited by tourists, following the Danube Bend-area and Lake Balaton, but before Budapest.
The Grand Prix is held in the middle of summer, which is usually hot and dry in this region. Its first wet Grand Prix race was in 2006. The circuit is normally dusty due to underuse throughout the rest of the year and its sandy soil. As the circuit track is in a valley you can see about 80 percent of the racetrack from any point. Normally an underused circuit becomes faster over the weekend as the track surface gathers more rubber residue; however, with the Hungaroring this generally does not happen because the track can get dusty so quickly. The track frequently becomes faster during a qualifying session, which leads competitors to try for their best lap as late as possible.
The twisty and bumpy nature of the circuit makes overtaking very difficult in dry conditions. Nonetheless, the Hungaroring has been the scene of several memorable races such as the duels of Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell's lost wheel in 1987, Mansell's win from 12th on the grid after a dramatic pass on Ayrton Senna in 1989, Damon Hill's almost victory with Arrows in 1997 and maiden wins for Hill in 1993, Fernando Alonso in 2003, Jenson Button in 2006 in the track's first ever wet grand prix, and Heikki Kovalainen in 2008.
- Major Events: FIA Formula One
Hungarian Grand Prix
FIA GT Championship
World Series by Renault
Grand Prix Circuit (2003–)
Modified Grand Prix Circuit (1989–2002)
- Length: 4.381 km (2.722 mi)
- Turns: 16
- Lap Record: 1:19.071 (Germany Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004, 2004)
Original Grand Prix Circuit (1986–1988)
- Length: 3.975 km (2.466 mi)
- Turns: 13
- Lap Record: 1:16.207 (Germany Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2002, 2002)
- Length: 4.014 km (2.494 mi)
- Turns: 16
- Lap Record: 1:30.149 (Brazil Nelson Piquet, Williams FW11B, 1987)