According to wire service MTI, Hungary’s Formula One race track, the Hungaroring, will undergo a 35 billion-forint (114.7 million euro) renovation between now and 2019 to ensure its spot on the F1 calendar beyond 2026.
The news came amid the Hungarian Grand Prix held this weekend at the Hungaroring race track (for full coverage of race results, click here). During the event, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó met track-side with Chase Carey, the CEO and Chairman of the Formula One Group.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (right) presents a “Puskás” football to American businessman Chase Carey, Chairman of the Formula 1 Group (Photo: MTI – Zoltán Máthé)
Following the meeting, Szijjártó announced the Hungarian government’s “three-stage upgrade strategy” for the race track.
According to the Foreign Minister, the government will spend 5 billion forints (approx. 16.4 million euros) this year on upgrading the grandstands and the track’s utility system.
In 2018, an additional 20 billion forints (65.6 million euros) will be put towards refurbishments of the paddock area and the pit-lane. The last 10 billion forints (32.8 million euros) of the renovation package will be used in order to complete the above-mentioned renovations, as well as to expand parking areas around the Hungaroring track in 2019.
These planned upgrades come at an auspicious time for Hungaroring, as this year the track has replaced Great Britain’s Silverstone as one of Formula 1’s two official in-season test tracks (the other track is located in Bahrain).
Racers at this year’s Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, held on July 30th at the Hungaroring race track in Mogyoród, near Budapest (Photo: MTI – Szilárd Koszticsák)
Szijjártó told reporters that “Mr. Carey was pleased to hear of these plans, because they are a further testament to Hungary’s commitment to keep the Hungarian Grand Prix on the calendar beyond 2026,” adding that
The Hungaroring is a traditional track which has been on the F1 calendar for over 30 years. Mr. Carey made it clear to me that the sport doesn’t want 21 uniform, standardized race tracks but rather a diverse and exciting calendar.
Chase, an American businessman whose previous work included stints at media companies such as Fox, DIRECTV, Sky Global Networks, and News America, took over as the head of Formula 1 in January of this year, following the ouster of longtime chairman Bernie Ecclestone.
Via MTI, the Independent, and Bloomberg.com
Images via MTI and the Guardian/EPA