The Hungaroring Circuit is a motorsport race track located near Mogyoród, Hungary. It is one of the most well-known circuits in Formula One and has been hosting the Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986.
Here is some history and facts about the Hungaroring Circuit:
- The circuit has a length of 4.381 km (2.722 miles) and features 14 turns.
- It is a relatively tight and twisty track, characterized by its narrow layout and lack of long straights, making it a challenging circuit for overtaking.
- The Hungaroring is often referred to as “Monaco without the barriers” due to its tight and twisty nature, which demands precision and skill from the drivers.
- The inaugural Hungarian Grand Prix which was held on August 10, 1986, was the first Formula One event to be held behind the Iron Curtain in a communist country, marking a historic moment in the sport’s history.
- The circuit has seen its fair share of memorable moments, including exciting races, unexpected weather changes, and occasional upsets in the championship standings across a variety of single-seater and GT racing categories.
In this Track Guide, we will break down each corner of the Hungaroring to give you a better understanding of how to attack this tight and technical circuit. The focus will be on where you should place your car for the best corner-to-corner flow, braking points, gearing, apexes and where to get on the power in vital acceleration zones.
Approaching Turn 1, position the car to the left-hand side of the main straight. The first corner is a deceiving right-hander that is tight on entry but opens up on the exit.
Keep your line of sight far ahead as you will be reaching top speeds of around 245 kph. Spot the 100-metre board that’s up on the fence to the left, then brake hard as you reach it and maximize the ability to brake in a straight line as you approach the corner.
Shift down to second gear as you trail brake into a late apex, which is behind the red and white kerbing. Keep it tight as you rotate the car early. This is key as you want to get back on the power as early as possible. The exit is very important so be progressive on the power and open the steering to use all the road on the exit.
Turns 2 is a long downhill left-hander. The focus here is trail braking and keeping the car tight onto the apex to open up the exit.
Start braking as the red and white kerbing starts on the right-hand side of the track. Shift down to second gear and start to turn as soon as you start braking. Rotate the car on the brakes as you reach the apex and hug the inside grey kerbing. Get back on the power and hold partial throttle as you try to keep up the momentum up mid-corner. Only start to progressively get back on the power when you know you won’t drift wider than the midpoint of the track.
Being too aggressive here will cause you to have a tighter entry into the flat-out right-hand kink of Turn 3 which leads onto a straight.
The inside kerb of Turn 3 can be a tricky one and it really depends on the car you are in as to whether or not you can use it. Most cars prefer to just kiss the apex to avoid being unsettled though, so keep your steering inputs smooth and again keep your eyes focused ahead.
The exit kerbing can be used but make sure to keep two wheels inside the white line at all times to avoid a track limits warning.
Next up is the uphill fast left-hand turn which leads into the tight and twisty part of the Hungaroring.
Approaching the corner, position the car over to the right-hand side. Brake as soon as the red and white kerbing starts while simultaneously shifting down to fourth gear. On approach, the apex is blind so turn in earlier than you think.
Aim to get your inside wheels over the kerb using even the concrete patch behind the painted kerbing. Release the brake just before this point and coast while going over the kerb. Some cars might require you to keep a little bit of throttle to maintain the car’s stability over the kerb and crest. As you pass the apex, start to progressively get back on the power and use all of the exit kerbing available while keeping two wheels inside the white line once again.
The exit of Turn 4 feeds directly into the entry of Turn 5.
Get the car back over to the left as soon as possible and look for your turning-in point which is when the outside barrier transitions from green and blue tyres to the armco barrier. Start to brake using the trail braking technique once again. Time your downshifts and be patient as you aim to get the car tight to the inside kerb. Look for where there are tyre marks on the inside grey kerbing – this is the late apex you’ll be aiming for.
At this point, start to feed the power back on and start to open up the steering. The exit runoff is there to abuse so use it, as long as you keep two wheels inside the white line. If you are getting to the exit kerb too early then you have apexed too early which will lead to you scrubbing your front tyres as you try to stay within the limits.
Turn 6 and 7 (Chicane)
A technical and tight right-into-left chicane that can make or break your lap marks turns six and seven.
Heading into the first part of the chicane, start to brake as the red and white kerbing begins. Shift down to second gear and start to turn in so that you aim to get your inside wheel over the middle part of the orange sausage kerb. This will allow you to straight line the next apex which is again the middle part of the orange sausage kerb.
If you get your line right, you should be able to feed the power back on as you head towards the second apex. Be patient with the throttle and only start to get back on the power after the car hops over the second apex. Being too aggressive on the throttle here will cause you to wheelspin and flick the car sideways.
Use the exit kerbing to really maximize your momentum through the chicane.
Turn 8 and 9
These two corners form a sequence that is all about car placement and positioning. Entering the first part, which is a medium-speed left-hander, dab the brakes just after the pole that’s positioned on the left-hand side of the track behind the armco barrier. Light braking is required while staying in third gear. Aim to get the car over the inside kerb and try not to run the car out wide as this will tighten the entry of Turn 8.
Get as far over to the left as possible as you want to open the entry of Turn 8. Again, dab the brakes and shift down to second gear. Aim to hit an apex just after the halfway point of the inside red and white kerb.
Avoiding understeer here is key so adopt a slow in fast out approach. Short shifting to third gear might help mitigate the understeer on exit. As you get to the apex, roll back onto the throttle and use all of the exit kerbing available.
Turn 10 and 11
Turn 10 is an easy flat-out left-hand kink. However, it is still important to take the correct line so aim for a late apex and use the kerb on the inside to help keep the exit tight. This will set up the entry of Turn 11.
Heading into Turn 11, you want to be parallel with the red and white kerbing on the left-hand side. Just after the kerb begins, brake and shift down to third gear. Use trail braking and keep your steering smooth. Most cars tend to want to oversteer here so don’t be too aggressive with your inputs.
Get back on the power slightly just before the apex and keep all your inputs smooth. You’ll find the car naturally will push out to the exit kerb. You can use both the kerb and astroturf on the outside. Run to the limits of the track here to gain time down the following straight.
Next up is one of the hardest braking zones on the circuit. Make sure to hit the brake pedal hard initially and keep that force as you time your downshifts down to second gear – be careful not to shift too fast and over-rotate the rear of the car with engine braking.
The inside kerb is raised at the apex and can cause TC intervention as well as cause the car to slide and lose grip. To avoid this, delay your turn-in slightly. A good reference is just before the marshal post on the outside. Aim for behind the kerb and straighten your exit as much as possible. Open your steering and use the runoff area.
The penultimate corner is a long U-shaped left-hander. Heading into the corner, hit the brakes just as you pass under the sponsorship board above. Use trail braking as you’ll be turning in on the brakes. Shift down to second gear as late as possible to prevent the car from wanting to spin around.
When turning in, aim for a middle-to-late apex in order to not compromise your exit. Picture the corner as a V-shape, so miss the first apex and rather aim for a later apex. Hug the inside at this point and only once the car is rotated should you start to roll back on the power. Again, avoid running out super wide as this will comprise your entry into the final corner.
Heading into the final corner, try to get back over to the left-hand side of the track as much as you can, although you may find yourself needing to approach at a tighter angle if you are running an especially low rear-downforce setup.
Just before the marshal post on the left-hand side, turn in and start to brake. Trail brake all the way into the corner and again delay that downshift to second gear. Aim to carry good mid-corner speeds as you let the car float into the corner. Use more of a U-shape line here and keep most of the corner tight. At roughly the halfway point, start to feed the power on and progressively add more throttle as you start to unwind the steering for the exit. Avoid being aggressive on the throttle here as it will heavily comprise your exit onto the long start/finish straight.
Use as much of the run-off on the exit as possible, and that concludes a lap of the technical Hungaroring circuit.