Prostitutes in top gear for grand prix

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The Independent Online

The efficiency of the Formula 1 pit-stop - scream in off the track, a quick servicing and away again - has come to the world of the brothel.

The efficiency of the Formula 1 pit-stop - scream in off the track, a quick servicing and away again - has come to the world of the brothel.

The world's first purpose-built, open-air, super-efficient Grand Prix bordello is open for business today for spectators at the Hungarian Grand Prix. It offers lavatories and showers, private hardboard booths, and up to 500 specially bussed-in prostitutes.

The sexual pit-stop, set-up by the local authority on a site next door to the circuit, is open every night for five days around the race, from 8pm till 3am. Prices of around £100 a visit are being quoted.

Prostitution is legal in Hungary, though strictly controlled, but this is the first time a public red light zone has been declared, under a new anti-mafia law approved in December.

There's nothing new about prostitutes flocking to the Grand Prix in search of work, of course. The village of Mogyorod, nine miles from Budapest, which has set up the brothel, is invaded annually by hundreds of thousands of racegoers, and its otherwise quiet streets have for years been an unofficial red light zone during the Grand Prix weekend.

"This phenomenon exists everywhere, whether we forbid it or not, so why not do it openly?" said Sandor Toth, the mayor of Mogyorod. Most residents seem to approve - they say the only thing that has changed is that the prostitutes are off the streets and in the brothel - which suits them.

Up to 250,000 people are expected at today's race, lured more by the track than the brothel. This year's title race is close, with Ferrari's Michael Schumacher two points ahead of the McLaren drivers, Mikka Hakkinen and David Coulthard.

When the Formula One circus moves on tomorrow, the brothel will be dismantled, and Mogyorod will go back to being a quiet village for another year.

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