A new grandstand is being built at Hungaroring because all tickets for the Sunday race of the 38th Hungarian Grand Prix of Formula 1 were sold out already in December. According to a Wednesday post on the social media page of the racing track in Mogyoród, due to the huge interest, the Pit Exit grandstand will be built between the Super Gold and Gold 3 stands, and approximately two thousand people will be able to cheer from it. President and CEO of Hungaroring Sport Zrt. Zsolt Gyulay announced on 6 December that all Sunday tickets had been sold out for the Hungarian Grand Prix held between 21-23 July. Last year’s race was followed by 100,000 spectators at the venue and a total of 290,000 people cheered during the four days.
Hungarian Government Support for the Improvements
The decision has also been made that the government supports the planned development works of Hungaroring in Mogyoród, and according to preliminary plans, the 2026 Hungarian Grand Prix will be held in the completely renovated facility, State Secretary for Sports Ádám Schmidt said at a press conference held on Tuesday at the racetrack in Mogyoród.
The State Secretary added that under the latest government decision, the ownership of Hungaroring has been transferred to the National Sports Agency, which operates as a background institution of the State Secretariat. ‘The government has also decided to support the long-standing renovation works of Hungaroring, which have been under negotiation for a long time,’ Ádám Schmidt said. He emphasised that Hungary has a valid contract until 2026 to host the Formula One race at Hungaroring, and the extension from 2027 to 2032 is conditional on the implementation of the planned developments.
‘The background work has already begun, the preparation of the technical content of the public procurement procedure is also underway, and we are optimistic that this public procurement could be announced within 40-45 days,’ the state secretary said. In response to a journalist’s question, he said that substantive implementation could start in the autumn of 2024, the 2025 Hungarian Grand Prix will have to be held in a kind of ‘transitional state,’ and in 2026, the renovated facility can already host the Hungarian F1 race.
Zsolt Gyulay emphasised that the condition of the utilities and infrastructure does not currently meet the requirements of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
‘I feel that with the developments, we will also reach a faster and more modern operational form that is more compatible with the accelerated world of Formula One,’ he emphasised. He added that in 2010, they took over the management of the facility under difficult conditions, but they have closed 11 out of the past 12 years with a profit, and this year, a profit of over one billion forints can be expected. ‘The utility development, which is the basis of everything, has already started, and the new pipeline system can meet the needs of Hungaroring for about 40-50 years,’ said Zsolt Gyulay.
The CEO also revealed that during the negotiations on the contract extensions carried out over the past 12 years, they managed to save HUF 107 billion for the Hungarian state until 2027 because they ‘negotiated down’ the continuously rising amounts of royalties. ‘If we can successfully agree on the next extension, there will be an additional five-year option included in the agreement beyond the period until 2032, which will of course need to be renegotiated. With this, we will have the longest valid contract in Europe, but we will not be in a bad position globally,’ Zsolt Gyulay said.
He explained that during the planned development, the main building located in the paddock, the depot behind it, the covered grandstand in the home straight, and the main entrance gate will be rebuilt. It was mentioned that they are examining the possibility of renovating the Hungaroring in a way that could potentially allow for hosting of motorcycle world championship races in the future.
The Legendary F1 Track
Every year, the Hungarian Grand Prix is held in in late July or early August. The 38th Hungaroring race is scheduled for 21–23 July in 2023. The track has always been popular, as it has unique lines and is located amidst a beautiful scenery. An added charm of it is that Mogyoród, where it is located, is very close to the capital, Budapest. The race is expected to have over 300 thousand visitors next year, most of them foreigners. The government’s funding for the improvement of the track is a reasonable investment as the Grand Prix generates substantial income for the entire Hungarian hospitality industry.
The races at the Hungaroring are usually among the most exciting ones in the Formula One season. As the unique lines of the track provide an interesting driving experience for the pilots, Hungaroring provides special excitement for the spectators. Last year, Max Verstappen, two time World Champion, finished first after starting from the tenth place in the race. This was the first time he won at the Hungaroring.