Latest / Feature

30 memorable Hungarian Grand Prix moments

22 Jul 2015

As Budapest prepares to host its 30th Grand Prix, we pay tribute to the event with a compilation of 30 defining Hungaroring memories, including a host of maiden wins, several big crashes, a smattering of controversy, and a comical tumble for Taki Inoue. The question is, how many do you remember?

1. Mansell seals the title, 1992
Having won eight of the first ten races of the season, Nigel Mansell assures himself of world championship glory with an easy second-place finish at the 11th round in Hungary. It is the battling Brit’s 176th Grand Prix start, making him the most experienced first-time champion in history.

2. Brilliant Button breaks his duck, 2006
Jenson Button finally gets to taste the winner’s champagne after a superb drive from 14th on the grid in tricky wet-dry conditions is rewarded when leader Fernando Alonso loses a wheel nut and spins off. Not only is it the Briton’s maiden triumph, it’s also Honda’s first as a fully-fledged constructor since 1967.

3. Hamilton makes history with first F1 hybrid win, 2009
Lewis Hamilton puts McLaren’s dismal start to the season behind him to claim his second win in Budapest and the first victory for a car equipped with KERS hybrid technology.

4. Taki takes a tumble, 1995
Taki Inoue’s attempts to extinguish the flames on his recently expired Footwork-Hart are hit - quite literally - when he is inadvertently clipped at low-speed by the onrushing medical car. A comedy tumble - and worldwide notoriety - follows for the thankfully uninjured Japanese driver.

5. Massa in miracle escape, 2009
Felipe Massa is gravely injured as he’s struck on the helmet by an errant spring discarded by Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn. The force is later described as the equivalent of being hit by a bag of sugar traveling at 240km/h (150mph), but thankfully after a lengthy hospital stay the Brazilian makes a full recovery.

6. Alguersuari becomes youngest F1 driver, 2009
Fresh-faced Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari becomes the (then) youngest man ever to compete in F1 racing when, aged 19 years, four months and three days, he replaces Sebastien Bourdais at Toro Rosso. Despite having never driven an F1 car in anger before arriving in Budapest, he finishes one place ahead of team mate Sebastien Buemi in 15th.

7. Boutsen immaculate in victory, 1990
Williams’ Thierry Boutsen doesn’t put a foot wrong as he leads every lap and holds off a hard-charging Ayrton Senna for his third and final F1 victory. No Belgian has won a Grand Prix since.

8. Piquet beats Senna in ‘battle of the Brazilians’, 1986
Formula One racing’s historic first outing behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ is a humdinger, with Nelson Piquet eventually taking the spoils ahead of countryman Ayrton Senna after a ding-dong battle for the lead in front of an estimated 200,000 fans.

9. Firman’s monster crash, 2003
Ralph Firman is knocked unconscious after his Jordan sheds its rear wing and spears into the barriers at the Hungaroring’s rapid Turn 4 during practice. The Irishman is forced to sit out the race, with his seat filled (appropriately enough) by local driver Zsolt Baumgartner.

10. Kubica disqualified after shining on debut, 2006
Having been drafted in to replace Jacques Villeneuve, Poland’s Robert Kubica races to an impressive seventh-place finish on his Grand Prix debut with BMW-Sauber, only to be disqualified hours later when his car is found to be underweight.

11. Cruel luck denies Hill surprise victory, 1997
Having memorably passed old adversary Michael Schumacher with a ballsy move into Turn 1, Damon Hill comes within a few hundred metres of delivering minnows Arrows an improbable victory before a late hydraulics leak lets Jacques Villeneuve through on the last lap for the win.

12. Button defies the elements in 200th race, 2011
McLaren’s Jenson Button takes a fairy tale win in his 200th Grand Prix, making several inspired strategy calls to see off the challenges of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in highly changeable conditions.

13. Williams mechanic floored by flying tyre, 2010
Nigel Hope is lucky to escape serious injury after being struck by a flying tyre discarded from Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes in the Hungarian pit lane. The scary incident earns the Silver Arrows a hefty $50,000 fine for an unsafe release.

14. Alonso becomes youngest F1 victor, 2003
Fernando Alonso becomes, at 22, the youngest winner in F1 history and Spain’s first ever victor with a faultless performance in Budapest that sees him finish 16.7s clear of Kimi Raikkonen and a full lap ahead of a struggling Michael Schumacher.

15. Hill takes record-breaking maiden win, 1993
Having been robbed of victories earlier in the season by engine failure (Great Britain) and a late puncture (Germany), Damon Hill takes advantage of pole-sitting team mate Alain Prost stalling on the parade lap to finally land his first win. The Williams driver becomes the first son of a world champion to win a race.

16. Vettel falls foul of safety car rules, 2010
Early race leader Sebastian Vettel throws away his chance of victory with an unusual error of judgement behind the safety car. The German falls more than 10 car lengths behind Red Bull team mate Mark Webber at the re-start and is handed a drive-through penalty.

17. Massa blow-up hands Kovalainen win, 2008
Having jumped from third to first at the start, Felipe Massa sees off the challenge of Lewis Hamilton before a rare Ferrari engine failure three laps from home allows McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen through for a popular, if extremely fortuitous, win.

18. Klien flip begins miserable first lap for Red Bull, 2005
There’s carnage as Jacques Villeneuve’s Sauber tips Christain Klien’s Red Bull into a first-corner flip, moments before David Coulthard’s sister RB1 is eliminated following contact with debris from Fernando Alonso’s Renault.

19. Mercedes team orders fall on deaf ears, 2014
Lewis Hamilton is instructed to let Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg - on a different strategy and needing to make one more pit stop - overtake. But wary of wrecking his own chances the Briton bullishly refuses to comply. It proves a wise decision, with Hamilton - who started from the pit lane - ultimately hanging on to third place ahead of Rosberg.

20. Alonso’s qualifying antics deny Hamilton shot at pole, 2007
Tensions at McLaren are ratcheted up a level as Fernando Alonso is adjudged to have deliberately baulked team mate Lewis Hamilton in the pits during qualifying in order to prevent the Briton challenging his pole position. The Spaniard is handed a five-place grid penalty by the FIA, while Hamilton goes on to win the race…

21. Brilliant Mansell wins from 12th on the grid, 1989
Nigel Mansell puts a difficult qualifying session behind him as he tears through the field from 12th on the grid, eventually passing race leader Ayrton Senna with an opportunistic move on the 58th lap as the Brazilian hesitates behind backmarker Stefan Johansson.

22. Ricciardo roars to victory, 2014
Daniel Ricciardo claims a stunning victory for Red Bull, passing Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in the final four laps as a pre-race downpour and two safety-car periods create wildly differing strategies and lead to a breath-taking finish.

23. Schumacher’s defensive tactics rile Barrichello, 2010
Reluctant to cede tenth position to former Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello, Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher pushes the Williams driver dangerously towards the pit wall as the Brazilian forces his way past. The German’s actions earn him a ten-place grid drop for the next round in Belgium, as well as some rather tasty criticism from Barrichello...

24. Happy Hakkinen benefits from superb start, 2000
A perfect start from the second row of the grid and a bold move on Michael Schumacher going into the first corner set Mika Hakkinen on course for a dominant win in Budapest - his second in as many years.

25. Israel’s first F1 driver makes disastrous practice appearance, 2005
Minardi hand third driver Chanoch Nissany a maiden outing in Friday practice and the 42-year-old Israeli rewards their faith by spinning into the gravel after just eight laps. Having set a best lap time that was nearly 13 seconds off the pace, the Italian team elect not to give him another chance behind the wheel…

26. Raikkonen crashes spectacularly out of contention, 2006
In a rather strange incident, early leader Kimi Raikkonen rams into the back of Tonio Liuzzi’s Toro Rosso, launching his McLaren into the air and eliminating both drivers from the race. The Finn later blames the Italian for slowing excessively on the racing line.

27. Kubica and Sutil clash in pit lane, 2010
Drama in the pit lane as Robert Kubica’s Renault is released straight into the path of Adrian Sutil’s oncoming Force India. The German is eliminated on the spot, while Renault are hit with a $50,000 fine for an unsafe release.

28. Schumacher’s strategy masterclass, 1998
An inspired switch from two to three stops by Ferrari tactician Ross Brawn helps a typically rapid Michael Schumacher jump the dominant McLarens and romp back into world championship contention.

29. Senna sees off Prost after mighty scrap, 1988
In an enthralling intra-team battle, Alain Prost hunts down and passes long-time leader Ayrton Senna, but can’t make the move stick and eventually crosses the line just 0.529s behind the Brazilian.

30. Heidfeld’s fiery F1 exit, 2011
In what turns out to be his final F1 outing, Nick Heidfeld’s race comes to a dramatic end after just 23 laps as his Renault suddenly bursts into flames on the pit straight. Thankfully the German is able to park up and hop quickly to safety.

Think we’ve neglected a moment from our list? Send us your suggestions on Twitter using the hashtag #HungarianGP