Red Bull Ring
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Circuit length:
4.318 Km
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Austria's premier circuit has lived through a number periods of decline, but appears once again to be in the ascendancy as a host of its country's Formula One round.


Austria's prime racing circuit

It opened in 1969 as the Österrichring, built as a replacement for the unloved Zeltweg airfield circuit lower down the hillside which had been used between 1958 and 1968. Whereas Zeltweg was a flat, bumpy and uninspiring blast down parallel stretches of runway, the Österrichring was a fast and majestic ribbon of tarmac laid out among the scenic Styrian hills. From the outset it was a real driver's circuit, with every corner a fast sweeper taken in a minimum of third or fourth gear.

From the startline, the circuit rose steeply to Hella Licht Corner, a fast right hander, before curling gently down to the Dr Tiroch curve, taken in fifth gear, then rising once more on exit to the top of the circuit. From here you could catch a glimpse down the valley to the pits below, before focusing ahead to the fearsome Bosch Kurve, a fourth gear right-hander with no run-off thanks to the grandstand on the outside, creating something of an arena for fans.

Wall of Fame

Hankook 12H RED BULL RING 2017
Herberth Motorsport - Porsche 911 GT3 R - Allemann, Bohn, Renauer, Renauer - 368 laps

With funding from a major Austrian telecommunications company, the circuit was reborn in 1996 as the A1-Ring after a major rebuilding exercise during the off season. Hermann Tilke was employed to reconfigure the track so that it would once again be eligible for F1.

Tilke dramatically shortened the circuit, bypassing the section from Hella-Licht and Tiroch with a new section ended in a tight hairpin before rejoining the old course on the Valvoline Gerade. The Bosch-Kurve was also no more, replaced by another tight hairpin, while a tighter 'Texaco-Schikane' section was introduced, with the cars following the line of the old course to a squared off Rindt Kurve to complete the lap.


Red Bull Ring Straße 1, A-8724 Spielberg, Austria
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Renamed the Red Bull Ring, the circuit reopened in May 2011, with a demonstration of Red Bull racing machinery and round of the Historic F1 Championship. Later that year, DTM and the popular ADAC GT Masters made their returns at the facility and have become regular fixtures in the revived racing calendar.

In December 2012, Red Bull contacted the FIA to say the track would be available to host a round of the Formula One World Championship in 2013, after a slot became available following the postponement of the Grand Prix of America. While this ultimately came to nothing, it at least served notice of the track's intent and, in December 2013, the FIA announced the return of F1 to Spielburg from 2014 onwards.

Work was undertaken in 2016 for the possible re-instatement of the full long course, with the construction of a new chicane, roughly on the site of the old Hella-Licht-S, as well as at the Remus Kurve. No official announcements have been made by the circuit - possibly due to the need to get permits to return the full course to use - and it is not clear as yet what the long-term plan may be. In the meantime, the Grand Prix circuit was re-measured and from 2017 was listed as being 8 metres shorter, though in reality no layout changes have taken place.

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