Before Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton headed out to the Hungaroring at Mogyoród to prepare for the Grand Prix this Sunday (31 July), he made time last Thursday for a sightseeing tour of Budapest. Since host and team sponsor Vodafone could reasonably assume that Hamilton is more familiar with the Hungarian F1 circuit than the Budapest city centre, they sent him on his way with their brand new tourist guide app GUIDE@HAND.
Lewis Hamilton signs a fan’s hat on Thursday.
Although there was no risk of Hamilton getting lost in the Hungarian capital – he was taken by tourist bus – the app proved to be useful nonetheless. The F1 pilot could keep track of the route and identify the surrounding buildings on his iPhone display in 3D. The app, however, offers more than just that navigational assistance. At the end of the tour Hamilton spoke enthusiastically about his iPhone supplied him immediately with photos and information about the more famous buildings along the way thanks to GPS. Hamilton emphasised the word “immediately”, a compliment to the Vodafone network, which was naturally used for Hamilton’s test of the app.
The app also enables photos taken to be uploaded. At the end the whole trip, personalised with such photos, can be saved and made accessible to others. Hamilton, who is evidently a fan of the iPhone and apps in general, also tried out that function. “I’m abroad a lot. I need modern communications devices to be able to keep in contact with my family and friends.”
Hamilton was rather less impressed with the rain that met him in Budapest. “That’s not normal. It was always sunny on my previous visits,” said Hamilton, who was visibly in high spirits despite the weather.
In English, too
According to Vodafone, the app is now available for download in Apple’s App Store. The developer, Balázs Fodor, says that it will be just a few days until the software is also available in a version for Android users following the iOS version. The handy tourist guide, which can also speak, comes in Hungarian, English or German. It remains to be seen what visitors to Budapest will think of the app, but last Thursday it certainly got a stamp of approval from Hamilton. “The electronic tourist guide passed the test with flying colours,” the racing driver said. Of all the sights in Budapest, the Hungarian parliament was his favourite.