Hungaroring upgrades confirmed for Moto GP arrival

By on Friday, January 6, 2017

LAT Photographic

Hungary is hoping that updates to its Budapest based circuit can secure the Moto GP series for the first time. The Hungaroring is currently undergoing a three year update programme, which began in March last year. The first stage was resurfacing the full 2.72 miles of circuit, the first time this has been done since the circuit’s construction in 1985.

There are plans later this year to further modify some corners, as well as constructing new grandstands and television commentary booths. The final stage will consist of new garage buildings, media centre, visitor centre and even a museum.

These changes are to being implemented to ensure the track is eligible to host a Moto GP event. Chief executive of the Hungaroring Zsolt Gyulay confirmed talks are taking place with the FIM about hosting the series. Talking to M1 Television (Magyar TV) on Friday he said, "During the construction, we will be in talks with the FIM in order to make the track eligible for MotoGP races. When we are in the planning process, and if there is a will from all sides, we need to turn the Hungaroring into a track, mainly with changes to turns and escape areas, which is eligible for motorcycle races. To have Moto GP, the Hungarian government has to be on board, and we believe they are."

Moto GP was set to be held at a different circuit in Hungary, close to the Lake Balaton. But construction of the new circuit failed and plans collapsed in 2009. The Hungaroring however has succeeded in hosting Formula 1, DTM and World Touring Cars, Blancpain GT along with other smaller series.

Despite the changes over the next few years, Zsolt Gyulay confirmed the Formula 1 race will not be in any danger. “It was a very important step because, in terms of costs, the new contract was signed on more favourable condition," he said. "Because we extended our (F1) contract until 2026, the hosting fee will not be as high. Having a contract until 2026 also gives us safety because of the ongoing changes in the F1 ownership, which could be dangerous for European tracks that traditionally pay less than new tracks or the ones in the Far East. In that regard we are safe, and that is good news."

The Hungaroring is a popular venue for Formula 1, located 11 miles north east of Budapest. The capital city offers great nightlife, food and hotels. It’s a country I wholeheartedly recommend visiting.

Tom Wilkinson

Twitter: @TomWilkinsonF1


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