The first and so far only Hungarian driver in F1 is Zsolt Baumgartner. Ha was born on 1 January 1981 in Debrecen. In 1997 he raced in the German Formula Ford and in 1998 in the British Formula Renault Winter series. In 1999 he raced in the European Formula Renault series. In 2000 and 2001 he competed in the German Formula 3 championship. In 2001 he made his debut in the international Formula 3000 series with Alain Prost’s team. For the 2002 season, he signed with the defending champion team, Nordic Racing, competing in all the races of the season as a driver. In 2003 he was a driver for Coloni Motorsport. That year he also became a test driver for the Formula 1 team Jordan. In the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix, Jordan’s Ralph Firman had an accident during Saturday’s free practice session and was not allowed to start the race. Zsolt Baumgartner was given the opportunity to replace Firman as the team’s test driver. He finished nineteenth in qualifying. He was unable to finish the Hungarian Grand Prix after his car stopped on lap 34 due to an engine failure. In the next round of the championship, the Italian Grand Prix, he also started instead of Firman. In this race he finished in eleventh place, two laps behind the winner Michael Schumacher. Then Firman returned to the team for the next races. Baumgartner was signed by Minardi for the full season in 2004, becoming the first Central and Eastern European driver to have a full-year contract in Formula 1. His first major result came at Monaco, where he finished ninth. In Indianapolis, at the American Grand Prix, he scored Hungary’s first points in the history of world championships, finishing eighth. After that he never finished in the top 15 and left the team at the end of the year. His Formula 1 career then came to an end.
And now a look ahead to the next few years of Hungarian motor racing!
The future of Hungarian motor racing is interesting. Recently, the Digital Twin project was unveiled at the Hungaroring, which allows online participation in the battle of the cars racing on the track. But what exactly is this project?
Digital Twin is a development that puts the simulator user in the middle of a real-life race. So you can be placed in a virtual environment, behind which there is not only a computer but also a real environment. It’s Blended Reality, where you can participate but you’re not fully in it. The data is transmitted via 5G. High precision is needed to be able to participate remotely in a race with real vehicles.
The Digital Twin could revolutionise motor racing by allowing everyone to get into one of these virtual cars. Not just for fun, but also for real applications. In the future, we could even compete with Formula 1 drivers over the internet as “couch potatoes”.

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