The government resolution for the second phase of development of the Mogyoród Formula 1 track has been published, and the procurement procedure has concluded, as announced on Wednesday by President and CEO of Hungaroring Sport Ltd Zsolt Gyulay.
During a press conference held on Wednesday with a track inspection, the sports leader stated that the first phase of the strategic development programme, which includes improving and replacing utilities, is proceeding concurrently.
‘Hungaroring will soon welcome fans with a refreshed appearance,’ Minister of Defence Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said in a video message, adding: ‘The Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix has been Hungary’s sports event for over thirty-five years. Since the first race, it has become not only a favourite of fans but also a top-tier event for racing drivers worldwide.’
The minister emphasized that thanks to the contract signed in the summer, Formula 1 races are guaranteed to come to Hungary until 2032, so it is crucial to take action now. ‘The first phase of track renovation is already underway, the operational control centre—the brain of the races—is being renewed. Now, I am pleased to announce that the government has decided on the realization of the long-awaited second phase of development, which will involve the renovation of the main building, the paddock, and the grandstand with a capacity of ten thousand.’
Zsolt Gyulay mentioned that currently, workers are replacing the original utilities dating back to 1985 since those had encountered numerous problems due to pipe breaks and the load-bearing capacity issues of the medium-voltage network. He highlighted that the complete renovation of the track, along with the reconstruction of the building at the entrance, will be completed this year, featuring a visitor centre and a café.
‘The the long-awaited widening of the paddock should be completed by next year, and if everything goes according to plan, the grandstand will be demolished, and a temporary grandstand will be erected in its place for next year’s race. According to the agreement with Formula 1 management, there cannot be any half-finished buildings or construction activity during the races,’ Gyulay discussed the challenges of scheduling.
The President and CEO also noted that
the situation is pleasantly complicated by the fact that virtually all the tickets for next year’s race have already been sold.
‘The covered grandstand with solar panels and the planned event area of over ten thousand square metres will definitely be completed by 2025. We have been promising the media for seven years that the renewal will come, and in addition to the building permit and plans, we are pleased to announce that there is now a winner in the procurement process, and we have the necessary government resolution for construction,’ Gyulay stated.
Regarding the renovation of the main building, he explained that the entire building will be demolished, with two tunnels being built for passage, and the current pedestrian bridge will be removed. The press centre is expected to move into the renewed grandstand, and by 2025, the paddock will appear as if it were already complete, although the actual completion will be by 2026, the 40th anniversary of the track’s inauguration.
Additionally, an autonomous, multifunctional event centre will also be established, available 365 days a year, thus contributing to the return on investment. Having consulted with the winning bidders in the procurement process, Gyulay believes that Hungaroring is in good hands, and the owners are looking forward to the start of the second phase of development.
The Hungarian Grand Prix has a contract with Formula 1 until 2032, but, as Gyulay mentioned, ‘if we behave well,’ the race’s future is secured until 2037.
Regarding the potential hosting of a MotoGP race, he said, ‘The track was designed for Formula 1, and this still overrides everything, but they have received a request to re-evaluate whether the plans can be adapted to make the Mogyoród track suitable for hosting a MotoGP race. We will investigate this possibility by the end of the year.’ However, there are some challenging issues to overcome, such as the need to redesign the depot retaining wall to create a larger runoff area, and ‘they would need to dismantle half a hill at Turn 14.’
The 2024 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix will take place on 19 July.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/Hungaroring/MTI