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One of Europe’s landlocked countries, Hungary is set to attract record crowds in 2014, lured by the cheap prices and vibrant city life. Budapest in particular is a cultural, historical and social melting point that welcomes backpackers, families and newly-weds in equal measure.
There’s another reason why Hungary should enjoy a bumper summer however – the Formula One Grand Prix. The show may only stick around for a long weekend, but while it plays out at the Hungaroring circuit, tens of thousands of visitors will be on hand to watch the world’s greatest drivers go head to head. With cheap flights from the UK and affordable accommodation in Budapest, Hungary is an enticing destination for F1 fans.
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: everything you need to know
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: setting
In 1986, the Hungaroring circuit became the first setting for a Formula One Grand Prix behind the Iron Curtain. Held at the height of summer, the track is usually bone dry and very fast. Despite its speed, overtaking at Hungaroring is no mean feat – the track twists and bumps, testing the skills and concentration of the drivers to the very limit. Fans from all over Europe descend on Hungary to witness the Grand Prix, with especially large numbers coming from Finland, Germany and Austria. In 2013, Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory for Mercedes on the Hungaroring circuit. This year, it’s anyone’s guess who’ll triumph.
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2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: ticketing
Situated a short distance from Budapest, Hungaroring’s ease of access ensures that tickets are generally snapped up fast. Visitors can choose to purchase a weekend pass to catch the best of the qualifying and pre-race option or can purchase a standalone Sunday pass. Fans who purchase a Grand Prix weekend ticket will be eligible to take part in the public pitwalk on Thursday 24 July. Grandstand tickets are categorised by gold and silver, with prices ranging accordingl
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2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: weekend schedule
The public pit walk takes place from 4-7pm on Thursday 24 July. The following morning, the first Formula One practice session is held, followed by a Porsche Supercup practice session. F1 qualifying starts at 2pm on the Saturday followed by GP2 and GP3 races. Sunday promises to be a full day of racing action with 70 laps of the circuit commencing at 2pm in the main event.
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2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: entertainment
Away from the racing, most punters will relish sampling the nightlife of Budapest. During the summer, outdoor club nights are held on Obuda Island on the Danube as well as pool parties at Szechenyi and Lukacs Baths. Younger revellers will enjoy Aquarium Club, while jazz and free-flowing drink are to be found at Fat Mo’s. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Party Ship, which includes a one-hour cruise, is every bit as raucous as it sounds.
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2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: gastronomy
Budapest’s cafes are where the best coffee, best cake and best local knowledge can be found. Its etterem – restaurants – can be a mixed lot, but there are some genuine treasures to be found; Zeller Bistro comes highly recommended, while Borkonyha Wine Kitchen, although a little pricier, is a culinary sensation. Friendly waiters, an excellent wine list and beautiful presentation all add to the experience.
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Hungary Grand Prix image 1 © paisteline581
Hungary Grand Prix image 2 © herwinthole
Hungary Grand Prix image 3 © herwinthole
Hungary Grand Prix image 4 © Dibusz Tamás
Budapest bar image © discosour
Budapest market image © TopBudapestOrg
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