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Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Jul 2013   |  2:49 pm GMT  |  142 comments

The European F1 calendar has been steadily shrinking in recent years as wealthier countries pay for dates in the Middle and Far East, but today Red Bull struck a blow for the beleaguered old contingent announcing a return to the A1 Ring on July 6th next year.

The news is not a total surprise – there were rumours last winter that Red Bull and FOM had been negotiating, when a 20 date 2013 calendar was announced with a “TBA” date in late July. Turkey was the favoured candidate, but for a while it was rumoured that Austria might fill the gap.

Today it was confirmed that Red Bull principle Dietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone have agreed terms for a race on the track where once the Osterreichring stood. Mateschitz has made it clear that he is personally contributing to the cost of hosting the race, as the ticket sales will cover only the organisation of the event, not the sanctioning fee (see below)

The date is interesting; it is more or less where the most recent iteration of the Austrian GP was; in early July. The race ran at the A1 Ring from 1997-2003.

It used to be paired with Germany, but it raises questions about the viability of the New Jersey Grand Prix which was expected to be paired with the Canadian race in June.

With the FIA mandating no clash with Le Mans 24 Hours (June 14/15) from now onwards, it’s likely that Silverstone will run in late June, with Austria, Germany and Hungary to fit in during July before the three week break.

With Russia coming onto the calendar this retains the possibility of a 21 race championship, if all the venues come through.

It also highlights the increasing influence of Red Bull on F1 racing. The details of the deal have not been revealed but the going rate for a sanctioning fee to host a Grand Prix is north of $20 million these days, and Red Bull would collect only the ticket money. Any title sponsorship, track advertising and hospitality would all go directly to FOM.

So it will be interesting to see what Red Bull’s model is for the event, beyond a massive branding and Austrian pride display.

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142 Comments
  1. ® says:

    “it’s likely that Silverstone will run in late June”

    So that’s a British Grand Prix / Glastonbury Festival / Wimbledon Tennis clash guaranteed every year then?

    1. There is no problem with that as they are in different parts of the country and attract different audiences (fee paying public, that is, not the celebs who need to be seen at high profile events – but even they can be accommodated given the 2 weeks of Wimbledon). Which of these events did you attend this year?

      1. Daniel says:

        No, there’s an awful lot of crossover between those events, especially when with Wimbledon and F1. It was worse last year though when the GP collided with the Wimbledon final which no doubt hampered TV audiences.

      2. ® says:

        Don’t dismiss my comment out of hand like that Brisbane Bill, just because you don’t perceive an issue yourself. I posted because I do.

        I have attended all of these events in the past, and I’m the potential audience for all of them each year. The fact that every year I will be forced to choose between them, is an issue for me, and others who share my view.

        Admittedly it is a UK centric issue, but pretty short sighted planning in terms of UK fans. Each Summer these are culturally important live events for the nation. Obviously not on the FIA’s radar.

        Sure to have some effect on Silverstone’s marketing and ticket sales, even if only a small proportion of attendees are torn.

        It’s not the end of the world, but frustrating as it is an entirely avoidable clash. The British Grand Prix was fine when it was in July.

      3. Jon Wilde says:

        +1 I was gutted with the British GP clashing with Glastonbury this year. I got my tickets for Glastonbury, then got an offer to marshal at the GP.

      4. Me says:

        …that’s what you get for liking tennis…

      5. chris says:

        wrong, just wrong

        i have been into f1, since the early ’80s and am a 6+ glastonbury veteran, i’ve also been known to cast an eye over the center court

      6. I guess it is all a matter of perspective. How many years have you attended ALL THREE events in the same year? Usually, people have to choose one or the other due to cost and availability of tickets. So one event might lose 2 or 3 people but (apart from maybe the GP) the other events sell their allocation of tickets quickly so the promoters have nothing to fear. Here in the wilds of Queensland we don’t get much choice for attending ANY major, world class events so don’t expect my heart to bleed for you. But I see everyone bleat about not attending due to price, boring racing, lack of decent facilities etc etc etc so exercise your right to choose. In fact, if the GP is in direct competition with other major events that might draw funds from its ticket sales they have no option but to up their game to make the GP the preferred choice for allocation of finite entertainment budgets. The paying punter will be better off in the end.

  2. Nuri says:

    This track is far better than tilke tracks. Fast and flowing and undulating. Nice addition to the calendar.

    1. Spinodontosaurus says:

      This IS a Tilke track, or rather he designed the shorter version that is in use today (as he did with Hockenheim).
      I hope they do something about the 1st corner though. Seeing the drivers practically use the exit kerb as the entry apex was pretty silly.

    2. Matt Shea says:

      Pretty sure the A1 redesign was actually Tilke’s first F1 circuit.

      Either way, great track.

    3. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      It is aTilke track, his first addition the F1 calender I believe. You’re probably thinking of the old Osterreichring.

    4. Wayne says:

      Agreed, it’s a good track and that’s what counts!

  3. F458 says:

    Great to see Europe getting one more race with only 7 out of 19 races in Europe this year. Also I hope next years calendar addresses the long three week gaps we have been having in between a lot of the races this year. I mean three weeks in between Germany and Hungary and then four weeks between Hungary and Belgium is leading to an F1 famine this summer!

    1. Matt Shea says:

      Argh, totally agree. The three week gaps are killing me this year. Always enjoyed the rhythm of a GP every two weeks.

  4. All revved-up says:

    Good news. It’s given F1 some exciting races in the past.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8j6JLlLKNA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    1. Geno says:

      Seems to me Schumacher is massively quicker but the track just does not allow him to get past, unless Hakinnen makes a mistake.

      This has to be the worst – not street circuit – track for overtaking.
      Not a good news if you’re not Austrian.
      A plain boring procession guaranteed !

      Red Bull should invest in something more spicy, at least to fit their image.

      1. James Allen says:

        Schumacher was never ‘massively quick’ at A1 Ring, in fact it was a bit of a bogey track for him.

      2. DanielS says:

        James if I were on my computer rightnow I’d post a link to you commentating the 2003 race, when you and Martin Brundle almost couldn’t express how quick Schumacher was.

      3. James Allen says:

        ..in comparison to previous years? Hakkinen was always very fast there, I remember that

      4. Andrew Carter says:

        You have clearly never watched any races there, it’s log straights were always conducive to overtaking, but the kings meant that smart positioning could make for a strong defense, which Hakkinen was good at, as the video showed.

    2. Glennb says:

      These days Schumi would just wait for a DRS pass. Job done. Hasta la vista Mika baby.

      1. Geno says:

        Well I watched one of the FR3.5 races there last week and I just guessed there was another Red Bull track somewhere in Austria when I saw all the positive comments.

        A1 ring looks to me like one of those tracks where only rain or DRS + degrading tyres could turn the race into something decent.
        Defensive display is great only when overtaking is a possibility.

        And coupling Austria with Hungary ?!
        Double whammy…

  5. Matthew says:

    Austria was always one of my favourite tracks. I’m really glad to see it is coming back.

  6. Miko says:

    What happens now to the Red Bull-supported Thai GP?

    1. ed24f1 says:

      Not much chance after the law prohibiting street racing was passed.

    2. franed says:

      Gone, killed off by a new local law forbidding racing around the downtown area of historic/religious interest.

  7. Elie says:

    Could it be that there was a genuine fear the Nurburgring wont survive and an alternative needs to be there. Im sure Red Bull have been pushing since 2011.
    Surely Korea must be dropped at least for 2014. But for historical/ prestige reasons I can’t see why we still have the joke that is Monaco .
    As much as like F1 I think more than 20 races is very hard on the race crew travelling and also starts to diminish F1′s prestige a little.
    Now the question is how will the Scuderia react – since they have a terrific case for Imola. Guess it all comes down to economics and who can put on the best show

    1. NickS says:

      Agree about Monaco – think it would be great to include it, but as a special event time trial – (a bit like the Tour de France).
      Flat out, fastest top ten times get the points.
      Would be great to relax the design rules a little for this one as well, just to add some real interest…

      1. Elie says:

        Not even that. My belief is that if you cannot use a cars full potential it’s not worth even worth outrun grow car together.

        Monaco is only good for jumping on a Vijays yacht and having a grand get together and maybe enjoying a few days R & R in the municipality- that’s all.

      2. GES says:

        Without Monaco Formula One would not exist, the whole nature of Formula one is that you compete on tracks of different styles. Yes Monaco is difficult to pass on, but passing does happen. If you are a really fan then attend this event before slating it, you would know that if you have a 3 day tickets this will allows you in the pit lane were you will meet the drives and team personnel. Finally Silverstone is taking ticket bookings for July 6th, does this mean us real fans who attend some Grand Prix will have to try and rebook time off work again, not easy when your employer need to plan ahead.

      3. GES says:

        Ok so you can be a fan by watching a sport on television, but Monaco is a very good race and f1
        has always had fast and slow tracks, I have attended an f1 race at the A1 circuit and again it had it’s own style. F1 car are built to race in all these different circuits, it would loose it’s appeal if all the circiuts are just flat out

    2. Rishi says:

      That was my initial thought. Whether this was the start of a round alternating every year between Austria and Germany. France and Belgium almost agreed a race-sharing deal last year but at the same time I think the Nurburgring is out of immediate danger. Still, might work as a back-up if circumstances worsen there so yes could be a contingency on the one hand, and simply another European round (a return of a well-known circuit, with Red Bull willing to pay) on the calendar on the other.

      1. James Allen says:

        I think it’s annual

    3. Andrew Carter says:

      The Nurburgring is in liquidation as far as I know. I’m not even sure who organised this years race, but it didn’t pay a hosting fee like every other race and Bernie took all the gate money, with no “bread and boar” signage at the track.

      It might be that the German GP ends up being run only every other year as Hockenheim has refused to take the massive financial hit of a GP every year.

  8. bearforce1 says:

    and people will still find a way to bag Redbull for this.

    1. Robert says:

      Not in this instance, at least I won’t. Not a huge fan of RB (mostly out of boredom with them repeating), but THIS shows that they are a proper F1 team, not just a drinks company. How long it stays on the calendar is anyone’s guess, but they get huge props for saving a great circuit and keeping F1′s European heritage alive.

    2. Yak says:

      They already are. Claims of them having an on track advantage because they own the circuit and will be able to design the circuit for it, or how they’ll be able to install secret cameras in the other teams’ garages to spy on what they’re doing, or simply how Red Bull are taking over F1 and ruining the sport.

      Never mind that they bought an F1 circuit and are now putting up the money (not that RB don’t have plenty of it, but it’s still a lot of money) to host a race. No doubt there’ll still be money to spend on the track and facilities to bring it up to current F1-spec too. Any other occasion they’d be whining that there aren’t enough European races anymore, but Red Bull put one on and it’s the worst thing since… well, since Vettel won his last race.

      I imagine if Vettel wins the race next year, there’ll be record levels of whining on the internet about how Red Bull must have had some kind of advantage.

  9. Matt says:

    What a shame. A very poor track and one that should really be left to the junior formulae.

    1. MrNed says:

      I disagree entirely. Whilst it may be a comparatively short track, it has some massive elevation changes, including challenging mid-corner elevation changes that really test the drivers. Add to that a couple of good overtaking spots, and a couple of challenging fast corners, and I for one am certainly looking forward to F1 returning to the A1 Ring (although not so much looking forward to the massed Red Bull hoardings and adverts that are bound to be the backdrop to the race).

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see some track updates and changes courtesy of Mr Mateschitz’ deep pockets too.

    2. I agree. I don’t know what all the hysteria is about the A1 R… sorry, the Red Bull Ring. Sure, turn 2 has seen some action in past races and some wild driving at turn 1 given its masses of run-off forgiveness, but the races themselves aren’t hugely memorable (apart from maybe the wrong reasons re: team orders).

  10. Jamie Norman says:

    But I they won’t have to pay for trackside advertising, as I suspect they wont charge themselves to stick the Redbull logo everywhere. This is more complicated than it looks at first glance.

    1. Yes, more complicated as they (Red Bull) buy the rights to host the race, have it named the Red Bull Austrian GP and charge admission but they have no rights over advertising, TV, media etc, so they would still have to buy space from F1 Management to place track-side advertising that would be visible to TV cameras.

  11. Adam says:

    Got to sell a lot of Red Bull trackside to recover $20m and make a profit after ticket sales are added.

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      No need to cover the whole 20 million; Red Bull would write the rest off as a marketing expense. They’ll probably have Felix Baumgartner perform some kind of stunt as well.

      1. Yak says:

        Exactly. Their business is energy drinks. Everything else they do, hosting events, owning/sponsoring sports teams, celebrity endorsements, those annoying TV ads, etc., is for brand awareness/image, to bump their sales up from however many billions of cans a year to however many more billions of cans a year.

        Red Bull Racing doesn’t actually need to be making money. If they can, or at least break even, great. The important thing (for the RB company at least) is that the Red Bull brand is seen globally, and for the last three years (and this year again so far) they’ve been at the very front in both WDC and WCC. So that’s pretty good for the brand. And of course being near or at the top, you’re talked about a lot in the media. No one even really bothers saying “Infiniti Red Bull Racing” outside of announcing for the podium or in press conferences… it’s just “Red Bull”.

        Of course Dietrich Mateschitz might have his own personal interest in the sport as well, but there’s a reason it’s Red Bull Racing and not Mateschitz Racing.

    2. ed24f1 says:

      Doesn’t necessarily have to be for profit, more about marketing for himself, Red Bull and Austria.

    3. All revved-up says:

      I would have thought that someone in DM’s phase of life is primarily more focused on spending money and time to enjoy life before life comes to an end.

      Enjoying F1 is just one of those things.

      Making money is secondary. Making money is a nice hobby to living life just how one would like to. Years are running out.

  12. SuperSi says:

    Great stuff! Its about time we got more of the old circuits up and running again.
    Less of the money grabbing and more of investing in old circuits.
    The A1 ring is a great circuit and anyone who loves motorsport would agree that its a mockery not to have these tracks on the calendar.
    Its nice to see racing through stunning scenary and the A1 ring has it.
    Nice work Red Bull.

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      The Spanish GP should alternate with Jerez not Valencia. I’d also like to see Imola host another GP. Magny Cours, Paul Ricard, probably not Dijon, but a French GP should be integral to the F1 calendar. It’s also been 20 years since F1 last went to Kyalami.

  13. Sven says:

    Have to say kudos to Red Bull. I doubt they would get much profit from it(if any at all).

  14. Mike J says:

    Great news. Whilst it not may go down as one of the ‘best’ circuits in the f1 calendar, I will favor it over some of the later day ones. I was lucky enough to be present in 2003 sitting above Schlossgold and looking back towards Remus and seeing the gap in the trees where the old circuit used to run and snow on the distant Alps…not bad either. The atmosphere, knowledge and hospitality of the locals was great.
    So RB have bought the right for GP at their track?. Good luck to them. I would much rather see the old tracks ‘reinvented’ than watch GP run at crowd less circuits. Yes I know it is not in BE original business plan but…………………..geez, DM must have offered lots!…..I would certainly love to go back and watch in Austria.

  15. Neil says:

    Let’s hope they (Red Bull) do something totally different. Once you’ve shelled out $20M, is the ticket revenue really worth chasing? Maybe bring in other elements of Red Bull sponsored sports or some kind of festival?

    A great opportunity for something totally unique and – dare I say it – fan focused? (Physical attendance at GPs is pretty much the only time the fans are first – everything else is big business.)

    I find myself surprisingly optimistic about this.

    Although I’m sure others will instantly decry this as a way of Red Bull getting more influence with the stewards or something!

    Neil.

  16. Youngslinger says:

    The beginning of a Red Bull take over of F1/FOM? Got to be an improvement.

    1. James Allen says:

      Not sure about that..

      But they are now the WRC promoter..

      1. jpinx says:

        It’d be interesting to see how many of FOM shares are already owned by RedBull. If the flotation comes there will be some interesting footwork by RedBull and it’s “friends”. ;) Meantime, if BE goes down in the German courts, RedBull have positioned themselves very nicely :)

  17. KOBAYASHI says:

    A nice track. Glad its back on the calendar.

  18. Oz Geeza says:

    It’s about time F1 returning to its roots
    all is needed now for Imola to be added to
    the fore.Interesting though how much pull
    Dietrich Mateschitz has. no question of the
    saying,( money talks and sh*t walks).
    Mr Allen in my parts of the woods a strong
    rumour for the replacement of Bernie are
    between Christain Horner and Justin King in
    the view C Horner is employed by Dietrich M
    he would have an inside running.
    Your thoughts?.

  19. goferet says:

    Yikes, that’s pretty unfair of FOM to collect the track advertisement money in addition to the money they get from the licence fee >>> I mean, how else are people supposed to make a profit.

    Anyway, thanks to Red Bull for bringing the Austrian race back on the calendar for these numerous 3 week breaks have been killing the fans.

    Also with Red Bull being world champions, I think it’s only fitting that the team should have a home grand prix where they can put on a show for the home fans in a way making it cheaper for the fans to get up close and personal.

    No doubt about it, Diet-rich is officially a power broker in F1 and it doesn’t hurt if you get on well with Bernie for who knows maybe you can get a discount as a goodwill gesture.

    As for New Jersey, am pretty confident they will squeeze it into the calendar somehow for the US (especially a big metropolitan like New Jersey) is such a big opportunity for everybody to pass up.

    1. SH says:

      To be fair, the value in the track advertising is in showing it to millions of TV viewers, not to the few hundred people who can see each sign from the stands.

    2. Nano says:

      FOM keep the track advertising fees so they can maintain control of what is shown. They dont want offensive names or brands that they deem ‘unworthy’ to be shown. So they hold on to it as it ultimately gives them control over the image rights of the sport…oh and a heap of cash.

  20. this is excellent news. all we need now is a return to paul ricard and all will be sweet.

  21. Cozza says:

    hmmmmm

    Am we gonna see another Fuji Racetrack here where no flags except Red Bull ones?

  22. J Hancock says:

    I just had a mental image of Grosjean, Perez and Maldonado heading into turn one at the A1 ring. Are there enough brooms in existence to clear up that much carbon fibre?

  23. Malcolm says:

    Great news….it will be good to see a venue with the grandstands filled with fans, and in such a beautiful setting.

  24. mAc says:

    Great. A race circuit with real character.

  25. Kyle W says:

    I personally think this casts more doubts about Germany than about Jersey. After they dealt with the typically tedious US red-tape issues, things in Jersey seem to be moving along at a nice clip. The highly reputable Chris Pook’s recent appointment as an adviser to the project also lends credibility to the event. Unfortunately, Germany seems to be the problem child here. Many have speculated that the only reason this year’s German GP took place was to satisfy provisions in the Concorde Agreement. My guess is that adding another Euro race in Austria might satisfy said provisions, giving FOM a way to dump Germany, which can’t afford to pay the going rate.

  26. S. says:

    James isn’t there a maximum of 20 gps a year the rule? how will Ecclestone pull this one out? I thought the teams were exhausted with 19-20 races, and there are rumours of up to 23 races next year.. Is it possible? will the FIA allow it?

  27. AMSG says:

    So what’s changed at the track James ?? Seem to remember it being a boring place to race ??

    1. Rudy says:

      Boring place to race… RU serious? Have you been there? What about the woods. What about a nice little country in the middle of Europe? What about decent run off areas? With DRS and KERS I highly doubt to be boring. Those were the Schumacher/Bridgestone years. Turn the page mate…

      1. Robert says:

        Exactly…a lot of older tracks can get a “boost” with KERS-assisted passing and more pitstops. Let’s dust off Imola….

  28. David C says:

    Great to see another European gp back on the calendar, Austria has a great heritage in the sport with many previous drivers, a world champion and a f1 team. Also with RBR racing as an Austrian outfit a large crowd is all but guaranteed. All we need now is a French GP and were set!

  29. Horno says:

    Great picture!
    The glory days of Schumi and Ferrari, with Montoya at BMW and Kimi in Mclaren..

    Great to have it back, the track!

  30. Valentino from montreal says:

    Ah the memories … Austria 2002 was when ” The Todt Regime ” gave a big middle finger to the F1 viewing audience … The whole world pulled a huge fit …

    Mr Allen , I remember your reaction when Rubens pulled over … It was priceless …

  31. Andrew Carter says:

    How’s the future for Korea, there’s been a lot of talk on it’s future for a while now.

  32. Miha Bevc says:

    Is it acceptable for Red Bull not to win this race?

    1. Robert says:

      I’d say, they bring back a classic track like this, and even I will be rooting for Vettel for this race. I might even have to attend it…7 ski trips there have shown me the Austrians know how to party!!!

  33. Irish con says:

    It’s good to see another race in Europe. F1 at the minute is the best it’s ever been in most areas apart from some of the tracks. Not enough old school tracks. Too many stop start tracks with chicans and are as flat as pancakes. The only new tracks I like are singapore and India. Singapore because its the biggest physical challenge foe the drivers in the year now.

  34. I know says:

    A four hour drive from Budapest. The price for the Hungaroring to extend its contract post 2016 has just gone up significantly.

  35. Matt W says:

    What craziness is this. A GP for a country steeped in Grand Prix history with grandstands likely to be packed. Plus lush green scenery and elevations in the circuit.

    Has F1 gone insane. We need more identikit sandy, flat go-kart tracks out in the Far East. Fans out there are crazy about F1 and pack the stands by the dozen. Not to mention the plethora of test drivers and one race drives they provide which are the bread and butter of the world championship.

    I’m amazed a team with the pedigree and success of Red Bull have been rewarded with a race. Surely a more successful team like Force India should have been given an extra race.

    1. You’ve obviously been to Japan, Singapore and China!

      I’m glad the ‘ring is back though, great track.

  36. Quade says:

    Clash of interests.

  37. Quade says:

    Another thing. If Bernie sinks in Germany, he’ll carray Red Bull with him.

  38. Thread the Needle says:

    It’s not a bad circuit, shame Turkey isn’t on the calender as its a fantastic circuit, but Bernie has to go were the money is

    1. Robert says:

      Not the money – the fans. Turkey just never got the turn-out (too far out, and not a car-loving culture), and I expect THIS race to be packed with people that have motor oil for blood…

      1. Kirk says:

        I think is the money, look Korea, there’s just a bunch of people in practice and qualification and there’s nothing near the circuit.

    2. Yak says:

      Istanbul Park indeed is a great circuit. Great mix of corners, elevation changes, some big braking zones, nice long back straight, and of course turn 8.

      Just a shame it’s in Turkey.

      Not that I have anything against Turkey, but obviously the GP there has not turned about to be sustainably successful.

  39. would be good to know from other people , how red bull run there other sporting events ?

    is it tickets ? is it free normally ? whats the deal.

    Matt

    1. I know says:

      Most of the events held in regular sporting venues (e.g. RB Salzburg matches) or even the air races, have regular ticket prices. Some of the outdoor events are free. For a Grand Prix, I would expect normal ticket prices.

    2. SH says:

      The Red Bull air race in Perth was free to all, except for a cordoned-off grandstand viewing area with pricing per seat. (Granted, it’d be a little tricky to put up barriers so people couldn’t see the aircraft …)

  40. Simon Donald says:

    Great track. Fantastic backdrop! Always seemed to produce great racing even in the days when cars couldn’t follow closely. Can’t wait! Should be epic with this new generation of cars and tyres!

  41. Richard says:

    Hate Red Bull, but this is great news for the sport, to have a Grand Prix which will be able to provide full grand stands, unlike the empty ones at China, Bahrain, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi, and probably Thailand, Russia, Mexico, and Argentina and all those countries who are willing to or already have an empty grand stand Grand Prix.

    1. SteveS says:

      Red Bull does more for motor sport than Ferrari and McLaren combined. So why the “hate”?

      1. Spyros says:

        Seriously? Winning all the time amounts to ‘doing things FOR the sport’?

        Red Bull seem set to do for F1 what they did to Austrian football: make it boring and pointless.

      2. Rockie says:

        Seriously? Winning all the time amounts to ‘doing things FOR the sport’?

        Redbull promote F1 more than the established teams love them or loathe them.

        So in other words you are happy with mediocrity as that’s what it would be without redbull in F1 as the other teams would be struggling along.
        A team like Ferrari would be winning championships with poor engineers.

      3. SteveS says:

        Red Bull pours a huge amount of money into sports, including motor sports. It’s not just the Red Bull Racing F1 team. There’s a lot of drivers in many different classes of motor sport being supported by RB money.

        As far as F1 is concerned, yes, RBR has been a breath of fresh air for the sport. I suspect you’re the sort of person who is annoyed that Chelsea and Man City have prevented Man United from winning the last ten league titles in a row.

      4. Yak says:

        It’s all Red Bull’s fault they keep winning? If you want to complain, why not complain that the other big teams aren’t keeping up? Are Red Bull supposed to go, “You know what, we’ve nailed both titles three years running. Adrian, Sebastian, you guys just take a year or two off and we’ll let Ferrari and McLaren have a shot at it.”

        Look how rubbish McLaren are doing this year. They should be right up near the front, challenging Red Bull and the other front runners for pole and race wins at every event. Instead they’re flailing about just trying to maybe grab a point or two. One can hardly blame Red Bull for the other teams not being good enough.

        Go back before RB’s recent run and look back at the 20 years or so WDC winners and the teams they drove for. There isn’t exactly a huge varied list. It’s largely Williams, Ferrari and McLaren (and Renault had a couple). If Red Bull weren’t in the sport today (or were in it but still only managing a few laps before unreliability removed both cars from the race), the last few years would’ve been what? McLaren (Lewis) vs Ferrari (Fernando), with last year Raikkonen in the Lotus putting up a bit of a fight. Hardly seems like Red Bull have ruined anything.

      5. Spyros says:

        Let’s get one thing absolutely clear: F1 teams have some expenditure restrictions. Some obey them, some not so much and the less said about some others the better.

        Mediocrity in other teams isn’t necessarily due to a lack of genius, it could just as easily be a lack of cash. Take it or leave it.

  42. Mark V says:

    Having the race at that relatively remote location kind of bucks the trend of having races close to or even within huge population centers. Which makes me wonder: if this race becomes a regular part of the calendar, would a new track be in the works?

  43. Methusalem says:

    After the Brawn team won the championship back in 2009, I sometimes believed that there is a Bernie + Red Bull conspiracy in the F1.

    1. SteveS says:

      The FIA has been doing all it can, with rules changes and dodgy tyres, to try to stop RB from winning. Short of issuing a “clarification” requiring Vettel to start from the pit lane in every race I’m not sure what more they could do.

  44. "Martin" says:

    “as wealthier countries pay for dates”

    Not so much “wealthier”, as places where the Gov. / Rulers can get away with paying for F1.
    Regards,
    Martin

  45. r says:

    Whatever they do and whatever races they provide I just hope they give us a more fluid calendar. This year is not working as far as momentum goes. Not sure why its so hard to have a race every 2 weeks any more.
    Good news for any aspiring dentists in Austria I guess if energised-lolly-water becomes a necessary staple to ensure national pride.

    1. With 9 races in 14 weeks from Belgium onwards, I think there’s going to be quite a bit of momentum to end of the season.

      This year, the calendar had to be reshuffled because New Jersey would not be ready on time. There was never meant to be a three week gap between Germany and Hungary.

  46. j says:

    RBR is winning me over. Big fan of the old A1 ring… pending finding out that RB hasn’t removed Tilke’s shortcut that bypassed the forest loop. I’m uninformed on what shape the track is in these days but basically I just want to see F1 cars on the track with trees in the background again.

    1. Jimbo says:

      Track layout is the same. All that’s mostly changed is the infructure. The main grandstand has been replaced for a smaller one, without a roof.

    2. Aman says:

      Well it will be the same layout as it was in 2003 but man, I really do wish it was the 1987 layout….that track was stunning!

      1. j says:

        Bummer. I saw this layout on Wikipedia and hoped it would actually happen.

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A1_Red_Bull_Ring.svg

        Some of the Tilke corners remain but the forest section was going to be added back in with one detour added in to break up the back straight.

  47. andrew says:

    Bernie owns the Spa Belgium F1 circuit. So, maybe his indictment in Germany threatens this track continuing, and the A1 Ring becomes the replacement?

  48. John Turner says:

    It was never my Favourite Track, but with so many of the European Races Disappearing or being Forced into F1 Time Shares, it great to see it back on the Calendar. I though it was going to be 21 Races with New Jersey and Russia, so does this make it 22 now?

    And what if Thailand, Mexico and Argentina do end coming back into the Fray? It is worrying to consider what Track might be Sacrificed. I’d wouldn’t mind seeing Monaco go, but Lose Spa or Monza? It’s Unthinkable. I wouldn’t mind if they were for new Innovative Tracks, but the Tiike Tracks seem to all follow a set Formula, at least let someone else design One!

  49. dean cassady says:

    Great news!
    Great track!
    Great fans!
    Great place!
    Good for F1.

  50. IP says:

    Bring on the Red Bull Festival of speed… Planes, trains and automobiles!

    Just another drinks company??

    Step one, sell drinks…. Step three, world domination!

  51. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    A team owns a circuit? Simple like that?
    Not a conflict of interests?
    Never happened before?

    1. James Allen says:

      Happened all the time in CART – Penske owned several tracks, like Michagan and Fontana

      1. Liam of Sydney says:

        And Ferrari own heaps of tracks.

        Same old, same old… in my opinion.

      2. James Allen says:

        On F1 calendar? I can’t think of one ..

      3. Paul gawne says:

        Didn’t Honda own Suzuka?

    2. franed says:

      More of a millstone than an advantage.

  52. Cedgy says:

    Great news! Love the old A1 ring!

  53. P Jaxon says:

    The old Österreichring was legendary, the A1-ring was rubbish. If they’re gonna go back I hope they sort out a new better configuration from the boring A1.

  54. Steven says:

    Nice to see that that it’s been added to the 2014 schedule. It looks like the track has been changed for the better since 2003. I hope that Imola returns eventually. Despite it’s obvious history, it’s still a great circuit. Maybe one day….

    1. John Gibson says:

      It’s a better circuit now they’ve ironed out what used to be the final chicane. The run from Rivazza to Tamburello would make a very effective DRS zone in this day and age.

  55. JohnBt says:

    James, If Bernie gets into trouble with the indictment in Germany, will the order of things change for 2014?

    1. James Allen says:

      I doubt it, these things are planned well in advance.

      The German court will probably say more in September on its timetable and it’s not likely to come to a courtroom for quite some while, judging by how long the first trial took

      Could be years

  56. heinzman says:

    good news, it’s a good circuit.

    Now bring back Imola

    1. Spyros says:

      A good circuit? Not really… in the good-old days it was more than ‘pretty good’, but from its ‘A1-Ring’ iteration onwards, it’s really just a ‘point & squirt’ place. No high-speed corners at all…

      …which, ironically, means that it probably won’t favour RBR!

      1. Heinzman (Fan of: ALO) says:

        I like it

  57. phillyt101 says:

    Schumi, Alonso and Webber were always on form and epic at this track, great to see it back

  58. Robert says:

    Could this be Bernie firing a shot across the German bow?

  59. Anop says:

    A1 Ring – The only circuit on which Fernando Alonso has raced in a F1 car and doesn’t have a podium trophy of it.

  60. Stephen Taylor says:

    How many corners does the Red Bull Ring have?

    1. Olivier says:

      7: 5 Right handers and 2 Left handers.

      It’s only seventy seconds long. I hope they go back to the original track lay-out.

      http://www.projekt-spielberg.at/red-bull-ring/?L=1

  61. Richie says:

    Would be great to have Austria back on the calendar. I just hope they don’t add too many concrete run offs, they ruin the track, racing and scenery.
    We need more European races, its farcical that France doesn’t have a GP, yet Bore-rain and Abu Dhabi do.
    Far too many boring asian tracks with zero atmosphere. Korea and India have been massive failures from the fans perspective and should be removed if the FIA actually had a backbone

  62. Irish con says:

    James seems alot of fans like myself want imola back on the calendar. What’s the chances and what’s your opinions on that track?

    1. James Allen says:

      Very little chance due to financial side, plus it’s a second race in Italy

      I love the place, despite the difficult memories from 1994

  63. Chris says:

    What beverages will be sold at the red bull ring?

  64. angus says:

    I think it is great – as people have said, compared to recent ‘new’ circuits it will look great. Many of the European circuits had ‘old’ versions that everyone (old enough) looks at with rose-tinted spectacles – Spa, for example.
    As a trackday driver, any track with relief becomes a favorite. Of course, F1 is more about the race/spectator..
    Can’t understand the people who ‘hate’ Red Bull – I don’t drink the stuff, but I have access to so much sport that would never been seen if it were not for Red Bull involvement – I’m talking about the much much smaller sports – MTB, X-games type stuff.

    On a separate note – James, do you really see the New Jersey GP happening. The reason I ask, is that I happen to rent an apartment on the track :) – pure coincidence, honestly!! I have watched them build the pitlane – and then add permanent features like sidewalk, security bollards etc, which would all have to be dug up before any track was laid out. If they had thought a GP was coming, all this would be ‘removable’ like Monaco street furniture. Apartment blocks are being built right now that are right where grandstands were on that pdf ‘plan’ that was shown last year.
    I’ll take some pictures and submit….
    (James, if it happens, and you want a place to stay…maybe with a few McLaren mechanics…please book now!!
    cheers…

    1. James Allen says:

      Please do send pics thanks!

      1. angus says:

        Will do.
        (James, can you email me with where to send them)

  65. Marcus says:

    The old Osterreichring was awesome. Tilke did his usual emasculation job but it is still one of the most scenic and best tracks on the calendar.

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