Austria welcomes F1 to The Red Bull Ring for 2014

Club GT Events are delighted to report that Formula 1 racing is to take place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria next year. A short statement issued by Red Bull on Tuesday said: “Dietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone have reached agreement to the effect that Formula 1 will come back to Styria next year.” The company added that a July 6 date has been pencilled in for the race.

Red Bull Ring (42)
F1’s governing body, the FIA, didn’t immediately answer a request for comment but is expected to announce the 2014 calendar in September. According to Red Bull, the race in Austria is pending approval from local authorities. Mateschitz, who grew up in Styria, said “it’s very special to me” to see F1 again on his company-owned circuit.

“We have not only rejuvenated the circuit, but we have been able to get back motor sport’s marquee event,” Mateschitz told the Austria Press Agency. Spielberg also hosted the race from 1997-2003, with Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher winning the last two. The track has been slightly modified since to improve safety.

Red Bull Ring (3)

Five years after the last race in 2003, Red Bull reportedly invested 200 million euros ($260 million) in the track and surrounding infrastructure in a bid to return to the F1 calendar. The circuit received a F1 license in May 2011 but has since only staged events for the DTM touring car series.

Red Bull Ring (87)

Three-time F1 world champion Niki Lauda, who won his home grand prix in 1984, described the imminent return of the series to Austria as “an enormous joy.” “I’ve always hoped that Formula 1 would come back some day. This means a lot to me,” Lauda told APA. “It’s a new impetus, especially for the region… Formula 1 is the crown on (Mateschitz’) work.”

Austria has hosted 26 races since 1964 on different circuits, with Alain Prost winning a record three times. Until 1987, the races were held in nearby Zeltweg before Austria first disappeared from the calendar for 10 years.

Austria’s most notorious race took place in 2002, when leader Rubens Barrichello obeyed Ferrari team orders to slow down and allow teammate Schumacher to cross the line first. Schumacher led the standings and was on his way to the fifth of seven world titles.