Hungaroring – spectators’ experiences

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Jenson Button, Honda, Hungaroring, 2006Tell us about your experiences of visiting the Hungaroring.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

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46 comments on Hungaroring – spectators’ experiences

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  1. I attended the Hungarian GP in August 2008 along with my family. It was an exceedingly hot weekend, but the Hungarians truly know how to appreciate summer by enjoying the warm evenings outside on Budapest’s streets.

    Unfortunately, the track is some ways away from Budapest, 25km or so, which necessitates a lengthy bus or taxi ride. There are free busses that will pick you up at a few of the downtown metro stations, ask your hotel concierge or metro ticket desk about these. They work well, but be prepared to stand in a hot bus for about and hour or so.

    We had two blocks of tickets, one section of 2 seats in Gold 1, and one section of 3 seats in Silver 4. Sightlines from Silver 4 are fantastic, you can see much of the track due to their position on the hill rimming the valley the track resides in. Its good fun watching cars come through the tight turn 14 and onto the straight, especially the GP2 cars as they slide as their tires begin to go off. Gold 1 is directly across from the pits and gives you a great view of the start, but next time I would try Gold 4 instead, as this give you a view of the only passing zone on the track, turn 1.

    Track atmosphere was fun, especially as both the Poles and the Finns regard this as their home race. Make sure to get an ice cream from one of the pretty ice cream girls.

    The trip was overall more expensive than we anticipated, costing upwards of 200 Euros for the tickets and western-europe prices for much of the lodging and meals. If you know a local and can stay away from the tourist areas, you’ll save a great deal. Also, I’m american so the exchange rates were unfavorable, but that’s everywhere at the moment.

    Overall, a great track to attend, but not so much for the racing but more for Budapest and the surrounding areas (Prague, Vienna etc). For a more F1-centric vacation, I’d probably choose Spa or Interlagos instead.

    • Alen said on 14th July 2009, 9:00

      Hi! I have one question….i go to Hungaroring this year, next week. i will stay in Budapest, and i don’t know how to go to Hungaroring? with taxi or bus? Taxi is very expensive, or? I want to take a bus if is possible? Where can i go on bus? But, does bus drives every day to the track?!? Because i want to go on friday to free practise:) Thank you!

  2. Me and a couple of my mates went in ’07. We sat at the last corner just before the straight with a brilliant view into the pits. We would have liked to sit at the end of the straight, watching the first corner, buit since being a student doesn’t really come with a big pay-check, so we took the other ones, which were very cheap, but it wasn’t so bad since Hungaroring is situated in a valley you can actually see quite a bit of the track from there. The racing itself wasn’t particularly exciting. Although one of the Porsche-cup drivers lost the back-end and did a power slide around the corner, which he duly received a standing ovation for. That year they had historic F1-cars as one of the support-races, which was brilliant.

    We stayed in Budapest, which is an amazingly beautiful city. Transport to the track wasn’t so bad, from the track is another story. We travelled with some other people and had a big bus chartered, which turned out to be a really good thing. Instead of departing the track immediatly we waited in the bus until the worst was over (The bus had air-con which is important since it was a insanly hot day)

  3. Clare msj said on 10th February 2009, 16:02

    We went in 2006 – easily the best race i have ever been to, and i think it will really take something special to beat it. There was the exciting/eventful race, Jenson’s win, track invasion at the end which we were lucky to be close enough to get to the podium to watch the whole ceremony, the post race atmosphere and to top it off, we spotted Lewis Hamilton in the airport on the way home just sat there with his family and GP2 trophy, and he signed all of our tickets for us and posed for a picture. Brilliant! Although that was mostly down to circumstance, and not necessarily the Hungaroring itself.

    2006 was the twentieth anniversary of the race, and in the nineteen previous years it had never rained for the race. 2006 decided it wanted a change!

    We camped for the whole weekend, which under normal weather conditions would have been fine, but it actually rained almost non stop from Thursday afternoon until about 2.30 on the Sunday afternoon. And the lightning on one of the nights scared me something silly, turned out it had hit a flag pole in the field next to us – thats how close it was! Still, it was worth every second for the Jenson Button win! And given the distance to Budapest itself, and the massively high taxi fares from the circuit, i still think we picked the good option. Our campsite was even closer to our grandstand (the stand on the last corner that Red Bull sold the tickets for, right opposite the pit entry)than Litchlake is to Luffield at Silverstone, and the view from those seats was pretty darn good considering we only paid 99Euros i think for them for the whole weekend.

    The track atmosphere was really good, even before Kubica got announced as driving and the large group of Polish fans in front of us reached full voice!

    We ventured into Budapest on the Wednesday night and Thursday day time, luckily before the rain hit, and the city is most definately worth a visit. We found the food to be very inexpensive, although we did ask a local where was good to eat that didnt cost loads, we may not have found the places otherwise. The only huge expense on the holiday really were the taxis from the circuit.

    One point to note though, the queue to get out after the race makes Silverstone’s look tiny, especially from the campsite – whilst we regretted not having a car on the long walk up the hill on arrival, we certainly appreciated the walk at the end – much much quicker than the cars!

    I would definately consider going to Hungary again for the F1 – I know it isnt always guaranteed an exciting race, but our tickets were cheap (especially in comparison to other places), the flights were cheap (good ol’ whizzair), the camping was cheap, and the food was cheap. The atmosphere was brilliant, the proximity to the track was excellent, and the views from our seat allowed us to see a fair amount of action. And then there is Budapest itself – definitely worth a visit!

  4. Kate said on 4th August 2009, 12:47

    I went to Hungaroring with my bf in 2009. We decided to camp near the circuit. We got general admission tickets.

    The journey there:
    We decided to go on the Thursday so that we go and see the pitlane and start-finish straight when it was open to the public. However, any helpful buses weren’t running until the Friday.
    Taxis from the airport were 15,000 Forints – which is REALLY expensive. We’re both students so there’s no way we were going to pay this.
    We took the 200E bus from the airport to Kobanya-Kipest metro station, which is one the blue line. Then changed at Deák Ferenc tér and changed to the red line and headed towards Örs vezér tere. Here we changed to the HEV line and got off at Szilasliget. (They open up a temporary station called “Hungaroring”, however this is in the middle of a field and is actually further from the track!). From Szilasliget you walk down this path through a park, cross over the main road and walk up this dirt track, which has houses on both sides (if dogs bark at you from people’s houses on the way up then you’re going the right way!). Walk to the very end of this road and you should see campsites!

    The campsite:
    We stayed at “Camping Zengo” which was a really small campsite and it wasn’t signposted or anything. They made us pay this really dodgy “Tourist tax” of something like 1 euro per night per person (maybe it was legit, maybe they were swindling us :S)
    It’s a typical F1 campsite though, Oompah music and Eurodance until 4am…
    All the campsites use portaloos, and the toilets in the circuit are much nicer.

    Thursday:
    On Thursday we went on the pitlane walk. This was really good as we got to see all the garages, people practising pitstops etc. It was VERY busy though, as half of Poland came to see it too.

    GP:
    There are 2 hills around the final corner where General admission gets a good view. If you sit in the right place then you can see the start finish straight. There are also big screens. The problem with general admission is that you are behind the grandstands so you’re a long way from the track. Bring binoculars or a camera with a large zoom.
    (One thing that really irritated me was people with large flags who insisted on waving them around in front of me… AGH!)
    There’s little or no shade in the general admission areas or most of the grandstands. With temperatures rising to 36 degrees makes sure you pack suncream and a hat.

    Food and Drink:
    The food at the circuit is EXTORTIONATE! It was 2900 Fts for a large sausage. In central Budapest this would get you a main course in a nice restaurant. If you find a shop outside the campsites then buy food there as it will be much cheaper.
    Beer is reasonably priced at 800 Ft.

    People:
    The atmosphere is pretty awesome. At the end of the race there was a huge roar from the crowd when Kubica got out of his car and waved to them, despite only finishing 13th. Kimi on the podium was also a cause for celebration.
    Poles and Finns have taken this race to be their substitute home race. Both sets of people were cheerful all weekend (the only irate fan I saw was a Brit!).
    Expect to be sung the Kimi Raikkonen song (#ki-mi rai-konn-en#) or the Robert Kubica song (#rob-ert kub-biz-za#) by a drunk fan! Some people started drinking at 9am so they were bladdered by midday!

    After:
    After the race we went and stayed a few days in Budapest. I’d definitely recommend this as it’s a beautiful city.

  5. Les said on 14th June 2010, 22:00

    I went last year and would recommend a visit. We took the train from central Budapest as that was most convenient to where me and my wife were staying (castle district). The transport was not perfect as the train stopped what seemed like a considerable distance from the track in the sweltering temperature (30C+ all weekend!) so it was quite a trek getting from the train to the track. There were Shuttle Buses as well but having waited for an eternity after Friday practice we decided to walk to the nearest train and stuck to that for the reminder of the weekend.

    Inside the circuit the atmosphere was fantastic, even if the food and drink was expensive. The Hot Dogs were delicious though and the heat required plenty of liquid. The crowd was made up of lots of very loud Finns and Poles although the Finns might not go this year for some reason… The rivalry between the fans was always friendly and good humoured though. The track was very easy to walk round and there were some good views around the track – the fast esses at the back of the track being my favourite. I found the security stewards could be a bit heavy handed shouting at fans for advancing over an imaginary line they had created and which was no where near the fence. I guess it made them feel important. Our grandstand seat was high up above the final corner and gave good views of most of the track. One point though is that the timing on the big screens were difficult to read so we needed to buy a set of binoculars from outside the track.

    On top of this Budapest is one of the most wonderful and beautiful cites I have visited and its well worth a visit on its own.

    Overall I don’t think it compares with the likes of Spa but the atmosphere was great and its definitely worth a visit if you have not been yet. Don’t forget to take sun block!

  6. PEAJAY said on 21st July 2010, 12:40

    I have booked to go next week. I am a little concerned that I only have vouchers to print out to pick up tickets at the track. I bought directly from the official F1 site but I see that the official circuit site mails out tickets. Has anyone done the voucher exchange thing ? did it work out OK ?

    • Stuart Borland said on 22nd July 2010, 0:35

      Should be no problem. Did this on my first visit in ’06. Have been back everyear apart from one. Enjoy.

      • PEAJAY said on 22nd July 2010, 21:59

        OK thanks did you use the train or bus to get to the track ? I was thinking of using the train to avoid traffic but maybe it gets very crowded ?

  7. Allen said on 23rd July 2010, 7:29

    Hi! I was a last year on hungaroring and we went from Budapest to circuit whit bus. On sunday we went from cicrcuit to budapest whit train…..it gets very crowded, yes, but not only on train, on bus too! but this is normal when a lot of people want to leave the circuit :) i suggest you to buy a weekend ticket for all public transportation, it the cheapest way. But you have possibility to leave circuit with helicopter, but is very expensive :) have a nice weekend; i hope that i will have a nice weekend if schumacher gets podium :P hehe

  8. Stuart said on 26th July 2010, 13:58

    We are travelling as a group of 9 and I have booked a hire car (minibus) for me to drive us all to the GP on Sunday and then onto the airport afterwards. Will I have a nightmare doing this? Am I better off cancelling it and us all going on public transport? Any advice would be appreciated!

  9. Allen said on 26th July 2010, 14:24

    It’s better to go like you said. You have air-conditon and all of you will have seats :) if it’s not very expencive then is better to hire a car. whit bus on public transport i wont have any free seat, maybe if i will have some luck.

  10. Stuart said on 26th July 2010, 15:50

    Great, thanks. It wasn’t too expensive, £250 for the weekend between 9 of us (£27 each). I did this as we have a flight that night and I wanted to be sure we would get to the airport in time.

  11. Anthony said on 27th July 2010, 10:56

    I’m going this weekend and i’m staying at the campsite. Is there a good atmosphere? I’m guessing there will be a few parties?

    Also… it looks like there could be rain. Good for the race… not so good for camping.

  12. Stef said on 27th July 2010, 14:09

    I’m going with my family this year, we’ve never been to an F1 race before. Could really only afford General Admission but I am concerned about the best way to get to the track in order to pick up the tickets (end of Bernie Avenue). Any advice on the practicalities of this would be fantastic!

  13. Our Nige said on 2nd August 2010, 15:52

    Attended the Hungarian GP in 2010 and had a great time. We had seats at the 1st corner (Gold 4 i think?) which were really good but not sure they were worth soo much more than the cheapest tickets as the circuit really is in a bowl and a general admission gets you good views.. That was until Schumacher had a go at killing Barachello right in front of us – and we realised that was why the tickets were so expensive -fantastic action!!
    We got the train out form Budapest which was really cheap – 600 HUF (£3) and then walked from the station (about 20 mins). The temporary stop for the circuit was not in operation this year but the permanent staion was fine. You get off and walk up the hill and you are at the circuit.
    Food at the track was reasonable quality but expensive – we brought out own sandwiches and drinks but then again I have never been to a large sporting event where the food is cheap…..
    There were a lot of Russian and Polish fans at the track and the atmosphere was good and most workers at the circuit could speak english.

  14. TrueF1Grit said on 5th August 2010, 15:33

    I also attended the Grand Prix in 2010, Our tickets were at the last corner, Silver 4, which had views from turn 10 right up to the Pit lane exit (Unfortunately the straight bends slightly and you cannot see turn 1) But we had a fantastic view. The racing was better than at previous years, although they say there is only one overtaking corner at the circuit, we had some great action from turn 13 in every support race! And some good action from the F1. If you bring binoculars, which are essential for any seat anywhere, you can see the pit lane. We got to see all the pit lane mayhem.

    The food is terribly overpriced on the circuit, but we went to a bar in Mogyrod (Closest village) about 10 minutes from the track and got a pint and a coke for a mere £1.50 or 450 HUF.

    We stayed in the Pest side of Budapest near the Ors vesre tére station (or however you spell it) Which takes you straight to the circuit via, slightly old, but efficient trains, although buying tickets was slow. I would advise arriving early, if the train leaves at 9:30 you can bet it will be there waiting at 9 (This only applies at this station) although transport was relatively cheap.

    The flights were with W!zz air, we flew out Thursday late afternoon and flew back at 4am Monday morning, were we were lucky enough to run in to Jaime Alguersuari who was flying to Barcelona, with Dani Clos and other friends (GP2 Driver). Very nice person who happily chatted away with us about his weekend, we dared not bring up Germany :P

    The temperature got hotter from Thursday to Sunday, It started around 29 Celsius on the Thursday slowly getting hotter to about 34 Celsius on the Sunday, its advised to bring Sun cream, although the Sun is behind most grandstands (If you are in Danubius or Silver 1 you will be facing the sun, others will have their back to it, all the time). Although at night the city does get cooler.

    On the Friday after the racing we went into Budapest for a look around “The most beautiful city in the world”, It is nice, although it’s very small, there is a very efficient metro service, with trains arriving around every 4 minutes even from minor stations.

    On Saturday after the racing we went to the Aquaaréna, the water park which is so famously shown every year on the TV Camera’s, it cost us around £14 4500 HUF for the day for a swim, although it closed at 7:00, The view of the track from the water park was also good, we enjoyed a nice swim which every now and again watching the GP2 and GP3 races which we decided to skip to go swimming after the F1 Qualifying.

    On the Sunday evening we stopped in a pub between the station and the track, where we met other fanatical fans who enjoyed a good chat about the racing, there is no real hate towards Ferrari v Mclaren, Although the Australians aren’t the nicest towards Vettel :D

    There is a night bus that runs through the night if you have an early flight, The metro stops around midnight depending on what line you want to go on, but the city never sleeps. Although a taxi, which we took, from the Ors vesere station to the white horse (The W!zz air airport transfer pickup) which was in the Deak ferek tére station (the station which all 3 metro lines pass through, the only place to switch between lines) was 2500 HUF with a 20% tip so 3000 HUF or £10.

    There were a lot of Polish and Russian fans at the track, who cheered epically during the drivers track parade when they interviewed their respective Renault driver, or throughout the whole race (especially during Kubica’s pit lane incident, and Petrov finishing 5th)

    You can walk the track from The chicane at the top of the track, turn 6/7, to the first corner, but sector 1 and the start of sector 2 is off limits.

    Most of the locals speak reasonable English, if they don’t there usually is someone nearby who does, so communication wasn’t that much of a problem, as long as you keep it simple “Ticket…Mogyrod…Return…Please” and point your ok :)

    Overall a very affordable and good weekend, if you have any questions just reply to this comment, I have set up this message so it notifies me by email if I get a reply :D

    • A couple of questions:

      On the Thursday are you allowed access to the track? Is there a pit-lane walk for ticket holders to get drivers autographs?

      On the Friday are you allowed access to all stands, regardless of your actual numbered ticket for the Saturday & Sunday?

      I’ve been to Monza in 07 & 09 which was great for allowing both of the above, but Valencia in 08 on the other hand, was very restrictive.

  15. I went to the Hungarian GP in 2010 and I have to say its by far the best F1 experience I have had to date.

    I won’t repeat a lot of the commentary already on this board, but I would really advise anyone going to take a cab to the circuit. It is fairly expensive but if there are a few of you to split it, then its well worth it.

    The circuit itself is brilliant, our tickets were opposite the start finish line and in full view of the podium. However next year I might be tempted to upgrade to the slightly more expensive grandstand seats, boy it was hot there.

    Planning another trip in 2011, maybe see some of you there!

    • maresa said on 30th March 2011, 20:54

      benjamin, i am attending 2011 hungary from US. Would like to speak with you offline about your expereince, as i have some question. can you send me an email daisy.cove@gmail.com thanks!

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