Definitions

Österreichring

Österreichring

The Österreichring is a disused Austrian race circuit which hosted the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix 18 consecutive years, from 1970 through 1987.

After being shortened, rebuilt and renamed A1-Ring, it again hosted races from 1997 through 2003.

The track is located in Spielberg, Styria. The old Österreichring was more often referred to as being located at Zeltweg, which is bigger and better known. However, the circuit was never relocated, only modified.

In addition, the one-off 1964 Austrian Grand Prix was held at Zeltweg Airfield, so this name was already known.

The Österreichring

The track was known for having many fast corners, as well as noticeable changes in elevation during the course of a lap. Many considered the Österreichring to be dangerous, especially the "Boschkurve", a 180-degree right-hand corner with almost no run-off area. Tragically, American Mark Donohue died after crashing at the "Hella-Licht" corner in 1975. It is also known that four-times World Champion Alain Prost often said that all tracks can be changed but that the Österreichring should remain unchanged, just adding run-off areas would be fine.

Formula One history

Season Date Winning Driver Winning Team Report
1987 August 16 Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda Report
1986 August 17 Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Report
1985 August 18 Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Report
1984 August 19 Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Report
1983 August 14 Alain Prost Renault Report
1982 August 15 Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford Report
1981 August 16 Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra Report
1980 August 17 Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault Report
1979 August 12 Alan Jones Williams-Ford Report
1978 August 13 Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Report
1977 August 14 Alan Jones Shadow-Ford Report
1976 August 15 John Watson Penske-Ford Report
1975 August 17 Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford Report
1974 August 18 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Report
1973 August 19 Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Report
1972 August 13 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Report
1971 August 15 Jo Siffert BRM Report
1970 August 16 Jacky Ickx Ferrari Report

The new A1-Ring

Mainly due to safety concerns, the track was abandoned by Formula One for nearly a decade. The circuit was totally rebuilt, at the same site, by Hermann Tilke in 1995 and 1996. The circuit was shortened from 5.942 km to 4.326 km (2.684 mi), the fast sweeping corners replaced by three tight right-handers, in order to create overtaking opportunities for F1. Its three long straights, as well as a twisty infield section, asked for a setup compromise.

Renamed A1-Ring (after a sponsor, the cellphone provider A1), the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix was held on it from 1997 to 2003.

Formula One history

Season Date Winning Driver Winning Team Report
2003 May 18 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report
2002 May 12 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report
2001 May 13 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes Report
2000 July 16 Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Report
1999 July 25 Eddie Irvine Ferrari Report
1998 July 26 Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Report
1997 September 21 Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault Report

Recent news

The grandstands and pit buildings were demolished in 2004, rendering the track unusable for any motorsport category. In later 2004 and early 2005, there were intense discussions whether the owner, Red Bull, would find another use for the site or actually bring back motor sports to it. However, as of January 2005, this seems more unlikely than ever, as Dietrich Mateschitz publicly announced that he had no intention to waste money on a deficitary circuit. This failure of the project, which was of considerable importance for the surrounding municipalities, may even have serious political repercussions, as Styrian governor Waltraud Klasnic had strongly supported the project.

In 2006, Austrian racing driver Alexander Wurz claimed he would buy the circuit and have it renovated, but little has come about this.

During the whole of 2005 there were speculations of Red Bull Racing renovating the track and using it as a personal testing track in Formula One. It remains to be seen if Mateschitz and his Red Bull Racing will do something about the abandoned track.

In 2007, talks involving Red Bull, KTM, VW and Magna International for a neuer Österreichring have failed after VW pulled out. .

In April 2008 the current owners of the track , Red Bull, was to restore the track as a racing venue and DTM Chief were considering to return there for a race in 2009. but in July 2008, the DTM organizers have decided not to include Österreichring into the 2009 program, although plans for the revival of the track are still under discussion

In October 2008, the track owner Dietrich Mateschitz has ruled out any chance for the track to host an MotoGP or a Formula 1 Grand prix in the future, but it will only be used for DTM races. The track rebuilt will be finished by the end of 2010.

References

External links

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