As the summer break looms, the Hungarian Grand Prix always feels like a final day of term, ‘School’s Out’ shindig. It’s the final effort after five races in six weeks, before we chill out for a couple of weeks after a busy, busy, busy few months of racing.
Sunday will put us at the ‘almost but not quite’ stage though, with the mid-season celebrations put on ice, as we have two-days of testing to get through before we can truly get loose! It’s kind of like that awkward after school party you have to attend to say your goodbyes before jetting off to some lavish beach resort on the Costa del Sol. Must not forget testing. Must not forget testing. The sandy beaches will have to wait.
Budapest is one of the standout cities we have the pleasure of visiting throughout the season. It’s a real gem, a Hidden Treasure Chest in fact. We’ll Leave It All there, as these lyrics Don’t Matter Now. Oh, stop it.
The architecture in Budapest is outstanding. Dotted up and down the River Danube, which pierces through the city, are some of the most stunning buildings in Europe. The Hungarian Parliament is arguably the most eye-catching of the bunch and took 17 years to build. Then there’s St Stephen’s Basilica, which took 50 years of construction work (we wouldn’t want to be involved in the blue-print for that one either…). The years of waiting and hard work was clearly worth it in the end, as Budapest provides sheer architectural beauty. Other buildings worthy of a mention: the Opera House (not to be confused with the Sydney one), the Palace and the Fisherman’s Bastion, which looks like it should be in a Harry Potter movie!
Hungary is very hot and up there amongst the more toasty Grands Prix on the calendar. Hats, factor 50 and sunglasses are at the higher end of the suitcase list for this one! Which reminds us; add extra underwear and socks to the list, we haven’t forgotten about testing just yet.
The Hungaroring is based in a natural amphitheatre, making it a popular venue for fans, who are treated with good vantage points all over the 4.3km circuit. The lap is short and sweet like a Hungarian Palacsinta, or a crépe to you and me. It’s a fast, non-stop lap with no room for rest for the drivers. We’re more than happy to watch the action from a nice air-conditioned facility for this one.
Food time (you thought we’d forget!). The country can do its best to deny the claims, but the person who coined the name ‘Hungary’ was obviously hungry when brainstorming their ideas. Just one of those facts everyone knows, right? Food in Hungary is simply, simply magnifique. From ghoulash and lángos, to desserts like Somlói Galuska and Dobostorta, food is BUDAful in this part of the world.
When you put it all together: the climate (sunny and hot), the architecture (beautiful and detailed) and the food (simply lovely), Hungary slips under the radar a little when it’s in fact a very good Grand Prix weekend. It doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves, and for that we salute this enjoyable race on the Formula 1 calendar. It’s one well worth experiencing if you haven’t already.