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Revision as of 21:59, 10 March 2009 by WikiSysop (talk | contribs)
Location: 22px-Flag of Austria.png Spielberg, Styria, Austria
Events: Formula One
Length km: 4.326
Length mi: 2.684
Turns: 10
Record time: 1'08.337 min. 227.894 km/h.
Record driver: Michael Schumacher
Record team: Ferrari
Record year: 2003

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

The old 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 at the "Hella-Licht" corner in 1975.

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) in 1995 and 1996 and renamed A1-Ring (after a sponsor, the cellphone provider A1). The Austrian Grand Prix was held on it from 1997 to 2003. The A1-Ring now had a length of 4.326 km (2.684 mi). It hosted the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix from 1997 onward. The circuit had three long straights, as well as a twisty infield section, making car setup a compromise.

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

Uncertain status and future

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 even bring back motor sports. 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.

Formula One Circuits

A1-Ring | Adelaide Street Circuit | Ain-Diab | Aintree race course | AVUS | Bahrain International Circuit | Circuit de la Sarthe | Circuito da Boavista | Brands Hatch | Catalunya | Charade Circuit | Donington Park | Enzo e Dino Ferrari | Fuji Speedway | Gilles Villeneuve | Hockenheimring | Hungaroring | Indianapolis Motor Speedway | Internacional Nelson Piquet | Istanbul Racing Circuit | Jarama | José Carlos Pace | Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit | Monaco | Mont-Tremblant | Mosport Park | Mugello | Mugello Circuit | Nazionale Monza | Nevers Magny-Cours | Nivelles-Baulers | Nurburgring | Pedralbes Circuit | Permanente de Jerez | Riverside International Raceway | Scandinavian Raceway | Sebring Raceway | Sepang International Circuit | Shanghai International Circuit | Silverstone Circuit | Spa-Francorchamps | Suzuka Circuit | TI Circuit | Park Zandvoort | Zolder