Hungarian Grand Prix - facts and figures 20 Aug 2003
The Hungarian race became part of the Formula One World Championship in 1986. Since then the Hungaroring circuit has hosted the Grand Prix 17 times.
Racing in Budapest dates back far further than this, however. On June 21, 1936 Tazio Nuvolari took victory for Alfa Romeo in the (non-championship) Hungarian Grand Prix. The event was held in a park on the outskirts of the city.
The Hungaroring circuit lies just east of Budapest. The two towns of Buda and Pest skirt the right and left banks of the River Danube and were united in 1872. The Castle District of Pest, with its narrow streets and the riverbank area, have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while Buda is distinguished by its imposing, neo-classical buildings and parks. One of the city's hallmarks is the chain bridge that links the two.
The Hungaroring layout has been modified several times over the years. The latest changes ahead of the 2003 race see the longest lap in the circuit's history with a total distance of 4.384 km.
This Sunday at the Hungaroring BAR engine suppliers Honda will celebrate their 250th Grand Prix start. It is a Formula One milestone that only three other manufacturers have achieved - Ford, Ferrari and Renault.
The are four double winners of the Hungarian Grand Prix - Nelson Piquet (1986, 1987), Damon Hill (1993, 1995), Jacques Villeneuve (1996, 1997) and Mika Hakkinen (1999, 2000). However, only two men have won the race on three occasions - the late Ayrton Senna (1988, 1991, 1992) and Michael Schumacher (1994, 1998, 2001), who could become the first four-time winner in Hungary if he takes victory again on Sunday.
The on-form Williams squad has the strongest record of any team at the Hungaroring, having won the event on seven occasions. McLaren has taken victory five times, Ferrari four times and Benetton once.
At the 1990 event, Belgian driver Thierry Boutsen scored the only pole position of his Formula One career. He went on to win the race for Williams, taking the chequered flag less than three tenths of a second ahead of Ayrton Senna's McLaren.
Today, Budapest has a population of over two million, and boasts six universities and numerous museums. It is the cultural and commercial centre of Hungary and is home to an important trading port. The Hungaroring is about a twenty minute drive east of the city centre.