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How F1 went behind the Iron Curtain – David Tremayne on the early days of the Hungarian Grand Prix

Hall of Fame F1 Journalist

David Tremayne
Ayrton Senna from Brazil driving the #12 John Player Special Team Lotus-Renault 98T Renault V6 and

I always think of Budapest as a flower, a city that opened up and blossomed almost before our eyes. I’m sure that was not all down to the horticultural charm of F1, but I reckon the sport played a key role in the way that the world came to look at the place after the early Hungarian races.

A Hungarian Grand Prix was first mooted in 1984, after tentative plans for a Russian GP in Moscow foundered. Bernie Ecclestone was actually flying across Budapest in a helicopter with his friend Tamas Rohonyi on their way back from the abortive trip when, according to Hungarian writer Andrew Frankl, who would himself play a key role in helping to make everything run smoothly, Tamas turned to Bernie and said, “Why not try here?”


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