FM Szijjarto: Hungary wants to extend Grand Prix contract as soon as possible – UPDATE – PHOTOS
Budapest (MTI) – Hungary wants to extend until 2026 its contract on hosting Formula One races as soon as possible, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Saturday at the Hungaroring, the venue for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Following a brief discussion with Bernie Ecclestone, the British businessman controlling commercial rights to the Formula One races, Szijjarto said he had indicated that Hungary is ready to develop the facility into one of the most modern race tracks of the world.
“There is a plan prepared by the managers of Hungaroring about a 25-billion-forint development programme to be implemented over three years,” the minister said, adding that the programme would be executed in a way to fit in with Hungary’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.
“It is Hungary’s economic interest to keep the Formula One here as each Grand Prix weekend adds about 17 billion forints to the country’s GDP,” Szijjarto said. He noted that the event had 169,000 visitors last year and this number has increased by about 10 percent this year. Foreign tourists accounting for 83 percent of the audience of the Hungarian Grand Prix spend more than 230,000 forints per capita in Hungary over the three days, he added.
Hungary hosted the first Formula One race in 1986. The 30th, jubilee race will start at 2pm on Sunday.