City guide

No Red Bull Air Race for Budapest in 2019

Photo : Predag Vuckovic / Red Bull Content Pool

Budapest Mayor István Tarlós has not authorised the organisation of the Red Bull Air Race in Budapest this summer – according to a statement just issued by the Mayor’s Office. Held annually in several major cities with notable landmarks for skyline backdrops, the Red Bull Air Race is Formula 1 in the air, presenting incredible stunt-flying spectacles performed by the world’s best pilots. Every year except one since 2003, Budapest has hosted the race, but now it seems that for 2019, the Red Bull Air Race will skip the Hungarian capital.

In the history of the Red Bull Air Race, Budapest has been considered a highlight for its special starting line. Pilots begin by flying underneath the Chain Bridge, a feat invented and mastered by living-legend Hungarian stunt pilot Péter Besenyei. But while the 2018 race was an immense success attracting thousands of spectators to Budapest – who saw Czech pilot Martin Sonka win the main competition – street closures and noise pollution proved to be too much for many city residents.

After the race took flight from Budapest last year, in a TV interview Mayor Tarlós vowed that the event would not be happening again as long as he served in office. Although that was last summer, and many hoped that his decision was made in the heat of the moment, under pressure from heaps of complainants, he seems to be keeping his word. According to a statement released by the Mayor’s Office, the Red Bull Air Race has not received a permit for 2019 from Mayor Tarlós, who suggests they rather consider the Danube Bend or a big lake as a possible new racecourse.

 

To learn more about the race and its history, meet World, European and many times National Champion, Combined World Cup Winner and Hungary’s biggest sports star, Péter Besenyei in our interview from 2018.