We’ve always said that the mission of our Live Demo programme is to take F1 to the people but that ambition went into total overdrive this week when we visited Budapest and the biggest crowd we’ve ever seen turned out to watch Daniel and DC put a couple of RB7s to the test.
Of course Hungary already has a grand prix, but it was very clear from the size of the crowd that there's a bigger appetite for motorsport in the country than anyone suspected. Fans flooded onto the banks of the Danube for the Hungarian capital's massive Great Race event, which showcased racing machinery of every stripe, we've been told the crowd numbered in the hundreds of thousands.
That was enough to make even our normally unflappable drivers a little nervy in advance of the highlight of their runs on the day – a double burn-out as they crossed over the city's historic Chain Bridge, starting from opposite ends, one from the Buda side of the Danube and the other setting off from the Pest side. Daniel and DC are pretty cool customers, however, and they completed the head-to-head run with flying colours.
It's not often that we bring two RB7s to an event, so were keen to give them a good workout and the event organisers obliged by setting up a superb track for us along the river banks. The set-up allowed our drivers to properly showcase their skills, from some properly high-speed displays along the river bank straights and some high-G, hard-braking moments in the slower chicanes of the course. It wouldn't be showcar run without some squealing and smoking rubber, however, and the boys were happy to oblige, lighting up the tyres with a sequences of burn-outs and donuts.
The day also featured amazing aerial displays from Red Bull Air Race star and local hero Peter Besenyei, who flew his plane under the Chain Bridge, and from the Flying Bulls aerobatics team who brought along some amazing machinery, including a WWII-era B25 Mitchell and a F4U-4 Corsair. They also brought their Bell Cobra and BO 105 helicopters and wowed the crowd with some amazing stunts.
Showing off on four wheels alongside our drivers were nine-time WRC champion and now World Touring Car driver Sébastien Loeb and also former F1 racer and DTM star Timo Glock.
Afterwards, Daniel admitted they had been blown away by the size of the event.
"It's been really good, the crowds was absolutely massive," he said. "They were all over the whole course and far back too, deep into the city – that was amazing. It was fantastic to give them a good show. The noise of the RB7 echoed really nicely off the buildings too!"
DC, meanwhile, reckoned the spectacular event might just lead to the eventual rise of a new Hungarian racing star.
"I really enjoyed it, anything that allows people to get up close to motorsport is a wonderful thing," he said. "It's difficult sometimes for people to get out to race tracks and difficult for a lot of families to afford to see F1 races or touring car races but an event like this really allows people to get a flavour, a smell a taste of what motorsport can offer. So many kids here too, which is great, because this might be the day that they fall in love with motorsport, so from that point of view it's a pleasure to be at an event like this."