• Austrian Grand Prix

Austrian Grand Prix could return to F1

ESPNF1 Staff
May 15, 2011 « A stumbling block for News Corp? | »
The newly-renovated Red Bull Ring © Red Bull Racing
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There is a chance Formula One could return to Austria in the future after renovation work at the old A1 Ring, now known as the Red Bull Ring, was completed over the weekend.

Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz has rebuilt the facility, which was demolished following its last F1 race in 2003, at the reported cost of a nine-figure euro sum. It has obtained F1 homologation status, moving the likes of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel to admit they would like to see the Red Bull Ring added to the calendar.

Mateschitz recently told Kleine Zeitung: "If you look at the new F1 circuits, the ones that came recently and the ones that are coming, one has to say the probability of Formula One returning to Spielberg [the site of the Red Bull Ring] is more than minor."

Bernie Ecclestone, who attended the official opening of the Red Bull Ring on Saturday, said in Turkey that a return to Austria is "possible".

Triple world champion Niki Lauda, who won his home grand prix at the venue in 1984 when it was running under the original Osterreichring layout, added: "There are several obstacles to overcome, but, firstly, no one knows what Mr Mateschitz is planning."

Sebastian Vettel also said that he would like to see the track return to the Formula One calendar after completing a few demonstration laps as it was reopened.

"I like the new track very much, as the core of the circuit remains the same," Vettel told the Red Bulletin. "The downhill sections with the curves, which are still hanging to the outside, are very tricky, especially because today the track was wet. It would be very nice to drive a race here and I would be very happy if Formula One should return to the Red Bull Ring - preferably during my career!"