Expect the unexpected at the Hungaroring: September 2022 events
The Hungaroring is one of grand prix racing’s hidden gems, and could this year bring more history for Lewis Hamilton
Hungarian Grand Prix
If there’s one race that stands out from a highly crowded July – during which the Formula 1 circus will have four races inside a month! – then it’s the Hungarian Grand Prix. Why? Purely because this is the race that always offers something that bit different to the norm. Sure, July also has the high-speed thrashes that are the British GP at Silverstone and the Belgian race (presuming we actually get a race this year…) at Spa-Francorchamps. Then there’s the migraine-inducing stripes of the French GP at Circuit Paul Ricard and the mountainous Red Bull Ring in Austria, but the Hungaroring is one of the perhaps overlooked gems on the calendar.
Not only is the race usually blistering hot (almost always 30°C or above), it’s also one of the year’s ‘outlier’ circuits where more than the odd unexpected result can crop up. The Hungaroring lap is an unusual blend of high-speed straights and narrow arching turns – not forgetting the rather spectacular near-flat blind-entry Turn 4, which follows the downhill sweeps of Turns 2 and 3 – which makes it an ideal place to see grand prix cars on the limit. Take last year’s race as an example. Did anybody have much cash down on Alpine’s Esteban Ocon to snatch victory from eighth on the grid? We doubt it.
Even if he was helped by some mixed conditions and a defensive masterclass from Fernando Alonso when he held a charging Lewis Hamilton up for 12 laps, allowing his French team-mate to escape, races at the Hungaroring are seldom dull.
Incidentally, the track characteristics could well play into the hands of Mercedes, and should Lewis Hamilton win this year’s event then he’d stand solo in the record books as the driver with the most wins ever at a single grand prix. He’s currently tied on eight with Michael Schumacher’s tally at the French Grand Prix.
W Series – French GP
Circuit Paul Ricard, July 24
Last year, the all-female competition was meant to be supporting F1 at the French GP but instead began its season at the Styrian GP. In 2022, W Series comes to Circuit Paul Ricard for the first time. Title defender Jamie Chadwick has raced here in the Formula Regional European Championship but her best finish was ninth in 2020.
World Superbike – Czech Round
Autodrom Most, July 29-31
Yamaha’s Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu, the man who brought an end to Jonathan Rea’s six-year reign to take the crown in 2021, set the fastest lap and won the Czech race last year.
Formula E – London ePrix
ExCel London, July 30-31
Rounds 13 and 14 of Formula E will have six British drivers on the grid vying for a victory on home soil. The 1.4-mile track runs around and through the ExCeL exhibition hall, the first of its kind, as drivers switch from daylight to almost night-like conditions throughout the race. In 2021 Jake Dennis won the first race with Alex Lynn taking his maiden victory in the second.
WRC – Rally Finland
Jyväskylä and central Finland, August 4-7
This rally puts the drivers’ commitment and bravery to the test as it weaves through forests and around lakes. Just as every F1 entrant wants to win at Monaco, so Rally Finland is where WRC drivers dream of victory.
IndyCar – Bommarito Automotive Group 500
World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway), Madison, Illinois, August 21
Josef Newgarden, IndyCar champ in 2017 and ’19, has claimed victory three times on this 1.25-mile oval track. Since 2017 no driver has won from pole. Should Newgarden win again, it will be his third consecutive victory here.
If the 14-turn circuit wasn’t exciting enough, the Manhattan skyline acts as one of the most scenic backdrops of the season. Sam Bird is the most consistent driver here, having won three times.
More August events
Aug 5-7 Australia Touring Car Series – Queensland
Aug 13 NASCAR Truck – Richmond Raceway, Virginia
Aug 20-21 Super Formula – Motegi, Japan
Aug 21 MotoGP – Austrian GP, Red Bull