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The Hungaroring - Formula One race-track, Budapest, Hungary

January 21st, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Hungaroring is a Formula One race-track near Budapest, Hungary, location of the Hungarian Grand Prix. It became the location for the first Formula 1 Grand Prix behind the Iron Curtain in 1986.

Hot and dusty: those are the keywords for the Hungaroring. Held in the middle of a central European summer, it is the only established circuit in the Grand Prix calendar never to have seen a wet race. The circuit is generally dusty due to underuse throughout the season, and this dustiness is heightened by the circuit's location in a valley near Budapest, attracting dust and litter from the city. Its location on sandy soil also means that if a car drops a wheel off the track, it kicks up massive clouds of dust.

Normally an underused circuit becomes faster over the weekend as the track rubbers in; however, with the Hungaroring this generally does not happen, because the track can get so dusty so quickly. This is a circuit where there is often a heightened advantage to running late in qualifying.

Due to the nature of the circuit - twisty and dusty off the racing line - overtaking is rare. The Hungaroring is often associated with boring, processional races. Some say that the Hungaroring is similar in style to Circuit de Monaco, due to its tight and twisty corners. In 2003, the main straight (turn 1, see diagram) was lengthened by roughly 200m, and the hairpin at the end of the straight was also tightened in an attempt to facilitate more overtaking opportunities, as well as a tightening of what was Turn 13. However, this is largely seen to have failed.

The circuit is flat, with the only notable change in elevation being a valley in the straight after Turn 3.

The Hungaroring has traditionally seen a large influx of Finnish fans. This is generally perceived to be due to the lack of a Scandinavian Grand Prix, rather than the shared Finno-Ugric roots of the Finnish and Hungarian languages.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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