The Hungarian Grand Prix has become a staple on the Formula 1 calendar since its introduction to the world championship in 1986. The first Eastern Bloc grand prix, the race is as famous for its tight and twisting track configuration as its arid and scorching climate – both of which conspire to create a uniquely demanding event for teams and drivers alike.
Ayrton Senna has won at the Hungaroring for McLaren on three occasions, in 1988, ’91 and ’92. More recently, Mika Hakkinen (’99 and 2000) and Kimi Raikkonen (’05) have triumphed for McLaren-Mercedes – much to the delight of the huge Finnish contingent, who have made this race a home from home for many years. Lewis Hamilton won the race from pole position last year.
The Budapest circuit has been modified from its original configuration twice: in 1989, the tight hairpins following Turn Two were ironed out; in 2003, the 180-degree first corner was extensively re-profiled into a sharper hairpin to increase overtaking opportunities. This weekend’s race will mark the 23rd running of the event.
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