I, like most sports fans, thoroughly enjoy a good upset or underdog victory, as it signifies a climactic upheaval, a wrench thrown into the conventional sporting machine we all accept without challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of cheering on a good thrashing on occasion too, but nothing quite compares to competitors deeply embroiled in a neck in neck battle for the top spot, with the “little guy” narrowly escaping with a victory. At writing, the Formula 1 season is at its midpoint. There is much more racing to come, points to be had, and losses to be mourned, and the next stop (in Budapest, Hungary), begins the thrilling apex of the F1 season, where underdogs launch their furtive attempts to climb the ranks before its too late.
Formula 1: The Basics
Inarguably the highest class of single-seater auto racing in the world, the Formula 1 season consists of a series of Grand Prix races culminating into 2 separate World Championships – Driver’s World Championship, and Constructers (Team) World Championship. Currently, 11 teams are represented at the Grand Prix races, responsible for designing and building the vehicles for each driver. The cars are handcrafted, specific to their driver, and must meet a rigorous series of specifications, from engine size, and vehicle weight, to suspension type and tire tread. An indescribable amount of care is placed in building the perfect car for each season – these light-weight vehicles are capable of going upwards of 200mph, and specialized body work is needed to apply the appropriate amount of downforce to keep these vehicles from taking flight mid-race.
At the conclusion of each Grand Prix, the top ten drivers are awarded points based the rank at which they finish, with 10th place receiving just 1 point and 1st place receiving 25 points. Each team has 2 primary drivers, and, despite competing against each other for driver ranking, the teams point structure is based on the combined score of both drivers throughout the season. Grand Prix races take place in a variety of countries spread across the globe, from the Silverstone Circuit nestled in the cobalt hills of the English countryside, to the narrow cobbled corridors of the Circuit de Monaco. Formula 1 circuits are notoriously difficult to navigate, a drastic departure from the oval tracks that populate American racing venues. Each track presents a new set of challenging banks, hairpin corners, and slender straightaways.
Hungarian Grand Prix: the F1 Seasons Apex
The stage is set at the infamous Hungaroring Grand Prix, minutes from downtown Budapest, a storied track famous for some of Formula 1’s greatest shake-ups, victories, and defeats. Many of F1’s most famous drivers – from Aryton Senna to Lewis Hamilton – claimed to love this track, its technically demanding nature lends itself well to epic duels and dramatic finishes. This year’s Grand Prix is a crucial race for all drivers, the season is only half-over, affording struggling teams and individual drivers the opportunity to gain points and advance on the leader boards before the season comes to a close. Widely considered one of the most difficult circuits to overtake challengers on, this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix is sure to be an astonishing display of racing prowess from some of the most talented drivers in the world.
If you’re new to the sport it’s important to note that success in Formula 1 is about more than who has the heaviest throttle foot. Each car has a drastically different aerodynamic design, and teams harbor complex strategies for timing pit stops, overtakes, and tire changes. The Hungaroring’s exhausting curves and deceptive hairpin turns will provide an excellent venue to travelers hoping to watch as the world’s top 22 drivers do-battle for 1st place.
The Grand Prix takes place over the course of 3 days, the first two comprised of practice laps and qualifying, as teams make their final tuning adjustments and vie for starting positions. The official race begins during the afternoon of the 3rd day.
Hungaroring covers a total of 4.381km, with a variety of seating options encircling the track. Choose your seat for the ideal view of the action from any corner and straightaway. Pricing varies greatly based on location, and amenities provided, but worry not, as the frenetic energy and relentless racing is at your fingertips no matter where you choose to sit.
Post Race Exploration: Budapest
Invariably you will need a break between the myriad practice laps, qualifying laps, and Grand Prix racing taking place over the course of the weekend. Fortunately, all of Budapest’s modern and historic attractions are at your disposal, a stone’s throw from the Hungaroring. Nicknamed the “Paris of the East” due to its breathtaking architecture, Hungary’s capital, Budapest, is widely considered one of the most culturally rich cities on earth. Discover the city with a car rental in Budapest, and enjoy a veritable cornucopia of restaurants, museums, palaces and scenic viewpoints. Whether you are new to Formula 1, and visiting Hungary for the first time, or a seasoned F1 arm-chair analyst dying to secure the best seats at the circuit, this year’s Grand Prix at the Hungaroring is an event you won’t want to miss.
Despite its less-than-stellar fan base and viewership from my stateside peers, The 2014 Formula 1 season has me giddy with excitement. The sound of the turbo engines spooling up in a screaming crescendo as they roar through the straightaways is, to my ears, some of the sweetest music on earth. I absolutely love it. The raw intensity of Formula 1 racing evokes a primal emotion, dredged up from the depths of our being, culminating in a mesmerizing symphony of awe and bewilderment. How can these drivers navigate the most treacherous tracks in the world while hurtling around the track in excess of 180mph? It’s an art form; an uncommon union of instinct and science which we may never truly comprehend.
With any luck, Formula 1 will continue to be a frontrunner, challenging our understanding of physics and the perceived limitations of modern vehicle engineering and technology, simultaneously providing one of the most exciting displays of sportsmanship and entertainment available today. Excited? Here’s everything you need to know to get ready:
Seating and Tickets
Paddock Club ($4,381 – $5,016)
Formula 1’s premier hospitality organization provides the ultimate VIP experience at Grand Prix events, with a luxurious lounge serving breakfast, gourmet meals, champagne, and wine. This ticket also affords an opportunity to mix with the cars, drivers, and team engineers for an unmatched race weekend experience. Also included is a reserved seat in the Super Gold section located in view of the main straightaway and starting grid, the ultimate seats to soak in the frenetic energy of the races.
Super Gold ($493 – $686)
Elevated along the outside of the final right hand turn leading into the straightaway, these seats provide the perfect view of the most intense action. As the cars pass this section of the track they will be pushing 180mph. Here you’ll enjoy front-row seats to one of the most thrilling parts of each race!
Gold ($409 – $455)
Nearly the same as the Super Gold seating, without the elevated views. Another excellent spot to bask in the adrenalin-fueled race start, and an ideal vantage-point to view the final right hand corner.
Red Bull Stand ($345), Silver ($274 – $345), Bronze ($137 – $164)
Bordering the corners before and after the straightaway, these seats are the ideal choice for those hoping to experience the intensity of each lap’s beginning and ending without paying for the additional premium services offered by the upper tier seating.
General Admission ($111 – $124)
This ticket grants access to the many General Admission areas scattered around the Hungaroring. Most of these areas are grassy mounds elevated around the track’s bowl-like configuration – perfect for those who prefer the freedom to move around, picnic, and see a variety of different sections of the race track.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Practice Laps 1: 10:00 – 11:00
Practice Laps 2: 14:00 – 15:30
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Practice Laps 3: 11:00 – 12:00
Qualifying Session: 14:00
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Hungary Grand Prix: 14:00
Unfortunately for all of us, Formula 1 cars aren’t available as rentals, something about street legality or something. Good thing you can rent the next best thing, Auto Europe offers a vast fleet of Exotic and Luxury cars in a variety of pickup locations across the globe. Reserve your luxury car rental online with our secure booking engine, or simply give us a call toll-free at 1-888-223-5555, available 24 hours a day for your convienence.