To most people, Hungary's contribution to Grand Prix racing only began when the Hungaroring hosted the inaugural World Championship Hungarian Grand Prix, in 1986.
Ferenc Szisz in a Renault AK won the first ever Grand Prix in 1906 at Le Mans © LAT
However, the influence of this eastern European nation extends all the way back to the very first Grand Prix in history, at Le Mans in 1906. It was in that race (a two-day affair, incidentally) that 32-year-old Hungarian driver Ferenc Szisz carved his name into motorsport history as the first GP winner. In a manner that even Michael Schumacher would be proud of, Szisz beat his nearest rival Felice Nazzaro by 32 minutes!
It was the only victory of Szisz's career, which encompassed only five starts between 1906 and 1914. After this, Hungary slipped off the motorsports radar until 1936, when the first Magyar Nagydij (Hungarian Grand Prix) was held in Nepliget Park in the middle of Budapest. The locals were treated to the sight of Tazio Nuvolari winning for Alfa Romeo, his last victory for two years.
Hungarians would have to wait exactly half a century before the Grand Prix fraternity came their way, on the purpose built Hungaroring circuit. The Istvan Papp-designed track had such a slow average speed that the first F1 race ran to the two-hour limit, with Nelson Piquet taking the flag one lap early as a result.