Formula One Hungaroring – our experience at Grand Prix Hungary

It’s that time of the year again – the time that we’re getting ready for what turned out to be our yearly Formula 1 experience! Let us take you to Grand Prix Hungary to appreciate one of the most exciting yet affordable races from the Grand Prix. Let’s combine it with the beauty of the nearby Budapest and top up with some sun, flying tires and good wine!

Budapest and the race track Hungaroring are welcoming all the F1 fans usually every summer. So get ready for hot emotions and tons of fun!

Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest

How to get to Hungaroring

We decided to hit the road and drove from Sofia to Budapest with a stopover and a night in Novi Sad along the way. When we got to Budapest, we had a bite with friends and then hit the complex net of highways to get to the Formula 1 circuit called Hungaroring. It took about 1 hour of driving, but this pretty much depends on traffic, e.g. on race day, it could take 6-8 hours to get from Hungaroring to Budapest center.

Once we got to Hungaroring park, there were already special traffic and navigation conditions so police and volunteers helped cars to navigate around the circuit. We had to go around it to enter the gate for the campsite we had the reservation for. It was a nice sightseeing experience that totally got us in the F1 mood – tons of people, flags and establishments to sell anything from water and beer to F1 merchandise.

Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest, Novi Sad

Where to stay for your F1 Hungaroring experience

For Grand Prix Hungary 2018 we decided to stay as close to the circuit as possible (having in mind the long and exhausting travels to and from Monza in Italy some years ago). This turned out to be the best decision. For Hungaroring, you can choose between a couple of campsites situated in different parts near the circuit. We chose Zengo Camping as it was affordable and close to one of the general admission entrances to the circuit.

We loved everything about it – the checking was quite organized, the meadow was green and if you arrive early you might catch some shade. There was a vineyard nearby so the view as quite nice. We opened the tent quickly as the sun was scorching and then just chilled. We also arranged a table and a parasol outside so we can hang out in the garden. Showers were clean and nice, the only not so good thing was the eco-toilets that tend to always get dirty and messy quite fast. But that’s the situation with anywhere where they use that kind of toilets.

Some of the campsites also organize group activities like watching movies in the open air and parties. So even if you go alone, you’ll never be bored at the campsite. Campsites are usually not so far from places you can get beer and food inside the area, F1 prices of course. If you want to save money, you can stock up with goods from Budapest or go for a quick refill to the nearby village – we walked about 30 minutes to get to a supermarket that had anything we could have wanted at a good reasonable price. Here’s the best part: we just walked for 5 minutes and we were there, at the entrance gate for the circuit! Can’t beat that travel time unless you have a helicopter to drop you off.

Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest

How to choose seats on the Grand Prix Hungaroring circuit

Choosing seats is always a matter of personal preference and budget. This time we decided to go for cheaper seats – a.k.a. the general admission seats. Then we had to read where is the best view towards the circuit, from which you can see the most of it, including some turns, straight parts, and at least one screen to know what’s going on. We found that place and it was clear we had to use entrance gate number 6 and stay at a zone with very good visibility. This sector is situated slightly above sectors Gold 1 and Gold 2. We bought tickets only from this website.

General admission tickets don’t have assigned seats or areas (at least for the Grand Prix Hungary) so you can imagine what happens in the zones that have good visibility. During qualification and especially competition day, we had to literally fight to keep our spots on the ground. I’ve never been a real fan of pogos so it was not a nice experience. Especially when you have to be there all day, under the scorching sun, so no one takes your space. We got dehydrated, sunburned, and very frustrated. Of course, the race itself was such an emotion that we would forget all the issues immediately, but still – we plan to spend a bit more money and have our own assigned seat.

Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest

Hints for the qualifying and race days

If you have chosen general admission entry for the Formula 1 Hungaroring, then make sure you are at the entrance gate early for the qualifying and race days. By early I mean – 7.30 they open the gate, which means you have to be there at 7, so you can enter with the first hundred enthusiasts and occupy the best spots on the grass.

Even if you have other types of tickets, being on the spot early guarantees you will have time to get to your area and find your seat so you don’t miss anything from the race. F1 Hungary usually takes place in summer, so bring plenty of water with you, as well as sun protection and something to cover your head. On a race day, all drinks from all bars, restaurants, stalls, and retailers were just over. So in the afternoon, we had to drink whatever we could find, and beer is not a good option for dehydrated bodies. It was really sad when even the beer just finished. Maybe F1 organizers of Grand Prix Hungary should plan better next time.

Keep in mind that at some entrance gates they’ll check your backpacks and bags and would not allow entering with umbrellas or parasols. If you stay at the open, you’ll have to get creative in getting some shade. Bring something to sit on – inflatable chairs, pillows, blanket, shawl or something to put on the ground.

Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest

What to do in your free time in Budapest

If you want to change the scenery, you can always visit Budapest. We’ve been there so many times and every time we discover something new. This time we particularly enjoyed the fountain show on Margaret island. It was more than refreshing to be able to step in the fountain and enjoy singing waters. Here is our blog post about Budapest, in case you’re looking for cool things to do in Hungary’s capital.

Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest

Who is the Formula One Hungaroring experience for?

Any F1 fan will tell you that being able to witness Formula 1 race live is one-of-a-kind once-in-a-lifetime experience. And we totally agree with that! We were not the biggest F1 fans when we first attended Formula 1 in Italy in 2015, but as soon as we got near the circuit and heard the engines roaring – we knew we are hooked for good! Even thinking about F1 experience provokes goosebumps all over your body.

F1 Hungaroring is just in the middle of the summer so don’t go if you don’t like the sun, the heat, being sweaty and thirsty all the time. Or if you’re afraid of occasional rain showers. Or if you can’t live with the biggest Kimi Raikkonen fan club we’ve met so far.

We’re so happy we combined the general admission experience with staying at F1 campsites, drinking good Hungarian wines and being mostly outdoors during the whole F1 weekend!

Formula One Hungary, F1 race Hungaroring Budapest
F1 Hungaroring - our experience at Formula 1 in Hungary
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2 Responses

  1. Jelena
    |

    Hi! I really like your post and it is really informative. I plan to go next year with my boyfriend and I was thinking to buy tickets for seating, but I don’t know can you still walk trough all that grass place? Is everything like one big place or is there fence around those seats? Thanks for answer!

    • Hi Jelena! You need to pass the general admission grass area in order to get to your seating sector. That was the case with the area where we were. But as Hungaroring is a huge place, we advise you to check where the nearest entrance gates are, otherwise it could literally take hours and it’s not sure if all the areas for viewing the race are connected. Hope you have a blast!