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  • Writer's pictureKristin

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

Initially when we started to think about coming to Europe for the beginning of our year on the road, Hungary was at the top of the list because Alex wanted to be there for the Hungarian Grand Prix, but at the time Hungary was not allowing arrivals from the U.S. and Canada and we weren’t even sure if they would be selling general admission tickets. However, part way through our visit in Poland we saw that they were selling Formula 1 General Admission tickets so we started to see if there was anything we could do about getting to the race.

Arriving at the Hungaroring

Getting into Hungary and the Grand Prix

The first part was figuring out whether we could actually get into Hungary, as the restrictions weren’t exactly clear on who was allowed. From everything we found on the official Hungarian websites, the U.S. and Canada wouldn’t be allowed to enter by plane, but it appeared as though Hungary didn’t shut down or restrict the land borders from a majority of its neighboring countries. A few comments we read online said there were some borders that did have checkpoints, but it seemed to be random. However, at the same time the Formula 1 website said that people having a valid F1 ticket along with a negative Covid test would be allowed to enter. To put it frankly there wasn’t anything in writing anywhere that made it super straight forward. However, with our F1 tickets and vaccination cards, we figured we’d stand a pretty good shot, so we decided to chance it.

When we drove into Hungary there ended up being nothing to worry about, as there wasn’t even anyone at the Slovakian-Hungarian border. (Actually, there were some Slovakian border guards checking for people entering into Slovakia.) Once we crossed into Hungary we had to get Covid PCR tests for all four of us, as Formula 1 required that everyone in attendance have a negative test within 72 hours of arriving at the race. Alex was going to the practice and qualifier days, so he just ordered an urgent turnaround on his PCR test, whereas the kids and I just had a normal turnaround time which we got the results back within 18 hours.


Alex got the full 3-day weekend of General Admission (GA) ticket. This allowed him to go anywhere on the grass surrounding the track to watch the race. One of the big reasons that we were interested in the Hungarian Grand Prix is because it is one of the more affordable races. Instead of paying over $400+ USD for a GA ticket, it was only 90 Euros (about $106 USD).

Alex at Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifiers on Saturday as part of his General Admission Ticket

We decided that it would be best if I can if I only came to race day, as the kids would quickly lose interest after 3 days at the track. The GA ticket to only come to race day was 80 Euros and children under 14 years old are free with a paid adult ticket.

Practice & Qualifiers

The kids and I stayed back and just had some low key days while Alex attended the practice and qualifiers on the Friday and Saturday of the weekend. The first day he took public transportation all the way out, but then discovered that the train back into the city was jammed packed full and no air conditioning, so the remaining two days he drove out to the spot where the Formula 1 shuttle busses picked up fans and took them to the track, which saved some time as well.

Race Day

We were there for the full day of events, which started off with the Formula 3 race, followed by the Porsche Cup and then the Formula 1 Race at 3 p.m. in the afternoon. It was definitely an odd day for weather – it was rainy in the morning as we arrived and watched the Formula 3 race, then it cleared up and became hot and humid, and then another set of rain came through just 30 minutes prior to the Formula 1 race. The wet track made for an interesting start and caused a crash in the opening lap of the race.

A wet start to the Hungarian Grand Prix 2021

How to Keep Kids Entertained at the Race

To be honest, it would probably be easier just not to bring young kids to the race so you could fully enjoy, but as we’re doing this travel experience as a family, we’re making sure that everyone is included along the way. There were kids at the race, but many of them were probably closer to 10 years old or babies, our 4.5 and 7.5 year old were definitely in the minority.

It took a bit for the kids to get used to the noise of the cars. We had brought along some ear plugs, but they ended up being too big for their ears. We did go search out ear muffs for the sound barrier for them, but it was going to cost about $110 for two of them, so we decided to just forego it. We just found a quieter section of the track and they adjusted.

Kids not quite sure of the sound shortly after arriving at the track.

There were some of the fan zone experiences that kept the kids entertained throughout the day and went for a walk around to check out the race car on display and the view on the grass of the Grandstand and the pit lanes.

However, snacks and coloring seemed to be the most successful.

In the lead up to the Formula 1 race we couldn’t leave our spot along the fence and it was starting to rain so, we let the kids watch a show on the iPad and made a makeshift tent for them with the umbrella and rain jackets that we had. However, by the time the Formula 1 race came around they weren’t very interested in watching racing anymore, so we went off to find a spot to color on the grass with the picnic blanket we had brought.

However, overall it was a fun experience and it’s pretty cool to say that we were at a Formula 1 Race in Europe – it’s like ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’.


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