Balaton Park Circuit has opened in Hungary, the highest International Automobile Federation (FIA) standard circuit constructed in central Europe in more than 15 years.
- The circuit has applied for an FIA grade two license, allowing it to host junior motorsport series and sportscar racing
- Constructed to an FIA grade one standard, meaning it could potentially host Formula One
- Hopes to host international racing from 2024
- Circuit has received €200 million (US$216 million) worth of investment, and is accompanied by a four-star hotel and museum
Context: The circuit's president is Chanoch Nissany, father of Formula Two driver Roy, who made an appearance at the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix driving for Minardi in a practice session. The Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix is currently hosted at the Hungaroring, which has a contract that expires in 2027.
Comment: Gianpaolo Matteucci, Balaton Park Circuit board member, said: “We are very proud to be celebrating today the official opening of Balaton Park Circuit, a unique project that began as a dream and is now a reality thanks to the unwavering commitment of Balaton Park Group. The main phase of construction began four years ago and was executed with particular attention to safety, innovation and with special care for the environment.
“As we are ready to host international motorsport events, Balaton Park Circuit has been built in accordance to the highest standards as required by FIA and FIM [International Motorcycling Federation] regulations.”
Coming next: While there is no declaration of which series are being targeted, the level of investment and the grade one standard mean the sky is the limit. It would be a surprise to see Formula One move away from its long-time partner in the Hungaroring, but targeting a race on the MotoGP calendar may be a more realistic option for the new circuit.