Hungaroring extends F1 contract

The 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix

The Hungaroring has extended its contract to host Formula 1 by one year to 2027.

The deal has been made in conjunction with the decision to proceed with this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix behind closed doors as part of the revised calendar released earlier this week.

Organisers will also enjoy a lower hosting fee this year and lower annual increase in subsequent years.

“We have been liaising with Liberty Media how to compensate the missing profit, because the organisational cost is not lower in case of a closed event,” said Hungaroring Sport CEO Zsolt Gyulay.

“We did our best during the discussions to get a good agreement both for the country and the sport even in these challenging times. We cannot say exact numbers, but rights fee is fragment of the one we pay in case of an open event.

“Furthermore, we have achieved an extension in our contract, so now it is valid until 2027 instead of 2026. The yearly increase of the rights fee also has been reduced, so we spared several billions of forints for the state.

“All in all, I can say that we were wise and we spared a lot.”

Monza’s Mayor announced prior to the release of the new calendar that the Italian Grand Prix had similarly had its contract extended to 2025 and would be run without spectators this year, although no link between those two developments was confirmed at the time and no change regarding hosting fees has been advised in the Automobile Club d’Italia’s subsequent confirmation.

The Hungaroring had been considered for back-to-back grands prix before Silverstone’s place on the calendar with the British Grand Prix and 70th Anniversary Grand Prix was locked in.

Hungary’s Minister for Innovation and Technology, Laszlo Palkovics, was nevertheless supportive of F1 and said that great efforts have been made to ensure one race goes ahead at the circuit.

“Several international events had to be cancelled, but we did not want to take a risk with the F1 race in Hungary, so we were open for all option while in talks,” said Palkovics.

“We exchanged many emails with Chase Carey, CEO of F1, and we gave him some tips how to make the closed event more exciting. They have taken some of them.

“The option for organising two races also arisen during the conversation, but fortunately pandemic situation improved in the other countries as well, and the rights holder wanted to the race in as many places as possible.

“We assured Mr Carey that we would give all our help to the F1 family when arriving to our country safely, either by road or by plane.”

The 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix will take place on July 17-19, immediately after the Austrian grands prix which will open the season.

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