The Hungarian Grand Prix – a mainstay of the Formula 1 calendar since 1986 – could be set to become the latest victim of the global recession, with question marks over the event's continued presence on the schedule beyond the expiry of the current contract in 2012.
The Hungaroring – situated approximately half an hour outside of the capital of Budapest – made history as the first circuit from behind the Iron Curtain to welcome the top flight when it first did so 23 years ago, and though the track has been much criticised for its paucity of overtaking opportunities and consequent lack of action in the races, it has remained a fixture ever since.
Last year it is understood that race promoters agreed to an extension of the existing deal with F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone until 2016, but according to Hungarian economics and political daily newspaper Vilaggazdasag
, the government is now calling into question its ongoing support of the grand prix, with a general lack of funds and the weakening of the country's currency amidst the worldwide credit crunch.
The race is unlikely to disappear before 2012, as race fees are payable regardless of whether the grand prix is staged or not.