New £173m Formula 1-grade Balaton Park Circuit opens in Hungary · RaceFans

A new racing circuit has opened in Hungary after four years of construction and over £173 million (€200m) in investment.

The Balaton Park Circuit is an anticlockwise, 16-turn course measuring 4.115 kilometres long with a width of 12 to 15 metres. It has been built to the FIA’s grade one specification – a standard which would allow it to host Formula 1 races – though the track operators have initially applied for a grade two licence.

The track is situation by Lake Balaton, 100 kilometres south-west of Budapest. Hungary’s round of the F1 world championship is held at the Hungaroring which lies to the north-east of the nation’s capital city. The track is contracted to remain on the F1 calendar until at least 2027.

Balaton Park features seating for 10,000 fans, with the potential to expand to 120,000. It has three paddocks and 48 garages.

The operators intend to enhance the facility by adding a four-star hotel with a view of the circuit next year, and add a car museum and other attractions.

Formula F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichewlla was among the first to drive the new circuit.

“I was impressed by its character,” he said. “The track really has it all – a thrilling blend of high-speed corners, challenging hairpins and cool chicanes.

“It’s a track that flows nicely, giving you a great racing feeling. The first corner and the end of the back straight are prime spots for overtakes.”

The circuit’s president is Chanoch Nissany, who made a one-off appearance in practice for Minardi at the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix. His son Roy races in Formula 2.

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