Jarno Trulli, Renault, A1-Ring, 2003

Ecclestone open to Austria return

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone visits the Red Bull Ring, former home of the Austrian Grand Prix.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ecclestone keen on Austrian track (Autosport)

“Although Red Bull and circuit chief Dietrich Mateschitz is not aiming to bring F1 back to the circuit at present, when asked if a grand prix would be possible at the refurbished venue, Eccletone replied ‘why not?'”

The FIA president visits WTCC (WTCC)

“The President of the FIA, Jean Todt, is paying a visit to the World Touring Car Championship in Monza.”

F1 Fanatic on Twitter

“Pitpass say Pirelli not bringing new tyre to Spain. Had confirmation from them again they are, as reported earlier: Pirelli to introduce ??super hard? tyre in Barcelona

Passing fad has F1 stars looking over shoulders (Sydney Morning Herald)

“Sure, we’ve got the promised overtaking in abundance. But as exciting as it sometimes is, it’s unnatural and contrived, and on the evidence so far it may be too easy now to pass the car ahead – witness the 79 moves in Turkey last Sunday.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Would Robert Kubica be doing better than either of Renault’s current drivers? Here’s what SLR had to say:

I?m not sure Kubica would have done that much better than Heidfeld and Petrov, he?d possibly have more points but I doubt would have won or finished second.

Heidfeld hasn?t had the best luck, though it?s up to him to make his own luck, he can get it done in the race, but his qualifying pace needs to improve.

From the forum

Keeping an eye on how the different engine manufacturers are performing in 2011.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jonny!

On this day in F1

Elio de Angelis lost his life in a crash in testing at Paul Ricard on this day in 1986. A tribute to de Angelis will be posted on F1 Fanatic later today.

51 comments on “Ecclestone open to Austria return”

  1. Bernie says “Why not” to everything that involves him bulging his bank balance a bit more.

    1. That’s true. But the main word in that article is ‘refurbished’.

      1. Well DTM are having a race there so it will be interesting to watch that.

        I don’t fancy the big Red Bull promo if F1 does go there though.

        1. As one of my old favourites, I think it would be a brilliant spectacle if F1 could go back to the now Redbull owned A1 Ring.

          A central European location is easily accesable by the large core F1 support, Austria of course neighbours Germany which has the draw of Schumacher, Mercedes and champion Vettel so there would be a guarenteed capacity crowd.

          The Redbull business is worth billions so the contract fees Bernie charges will be like loose change to the company.

          And finally, because it is RedBull, there will be the chance to have lots of fun at the F1 GP experience. Take the fun atmospeher experienced at the RedBull motorhome post race and spread it over the whole race weekend: Redbull would be able to make their X fighter stunt bikes go to the Race weekend and put on a show. They could do a big airshow with their AirRace pilots and planes. There is a big music scene at Redbull so there could be huge disco/nightclubs too with their very own Jaime Alguesuari at the decks!

          Finally, A1 Ring is in the most beautiful setting – which makes it an even more special event – so Bernie, Dietrich, start talking numbers please!

          1. Yeah, but I think Mateschitz is not really needing even more F1 to boost the company image so far, I guess.

    2. I always liked that track, on games at least, as I have never seen a race there, but if it returned I wouldn’t be too sad.

  2. I can never get an official picture of what the layout looks like now. There’s one floating around the internet, but it’s a design proposal. What is they don’t want us to see? Conspiracy! It’s actually pretty much like the old one, isn’t it? In which case, forget it.

    1. The extension was never built. When the pit buildings and grandstands were demolished, the intention was to totally re-do the circuit and add the extension on. However, work ground to a halt (I think there was an environmental protest that waited until work began to stop the circuit from being built and cars from racing) and the project was in limbo for years. Mateschitz finally rebuilt it, but only restored it to its original configuration.

      The proposal isn’t actually that bad. After going up the hill for the first time, the cars come back down by way of a triple-apex hairpin (it’s nothing like Istanbul’s Turn 8, by the way), with each part of the corner having a wildly different radius to the other two. Then there were a pair of right-handers that were fast, but not flat out (kind of like the Lesmo corners at Monza) that connected to the old circuit, which included the old Remus Kurve (a fast, blind, uphill, constant-radius corner). Finally, there was a corner right on the crest of the hill across the back that was modelled on one of the trickiest on the Nurburgring-Nordschelife – a sharp right, a long left and another sharp right, but all of it with multiple severe elevation changes as the cars went down then climbed back up again. It might look jarring on paper, but I’ve seen renders of what it would have looked like if it had been completed, and it was actually pretty nifty.

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

      The best I can do on the layout, can’t find any pictures either.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        15th May 2011, 8:58

        That’s the proposed layout, the one that was never developed. DTM have the first race at the re-opened circuit, and the official website shows this layout.

          1. although we can’t really tell from that photo whether the big extension is there or not.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          15th May 2011, 11:53

          Difficult, yes, but the proposal shows the extension doubling back on itself until it’s almost parallel to the existing circuit before bending back around to the original circuit. Although there’s only a limited sliver at the top of the screen, there’s no sign that extension was built.

          But more importantly, when Dietrich Mateschitz took control of the circuit, he said he did not want to host Formula 1 there – so there was no reason to build the extension, which was specifically designed for Formula 1.

          1. Shame really, it would have been worthy of inclusion. Now it will be a go-kart track forever. A pretty awesome go-kart track.

        2. Oh man, can we go to the Munich circuit instead? F1 is missing exactly this kind of circuit!

    3. The layout that was last used has remained. There was no extension or change of the layout built, as that appears to have been part only of the major overhaul project that obviously didn’t materialise.

      A new pit building complex was constructed. That may have a small effect on the elevation of the pit lane and/or the main straight, otherwise, the circuit should appear very familiar to anyone who’s seen it before.

      If you take a look around Red Bull’s website, they are also offering a map showing exactly which kinds of facilities are where now:

  3. Why would Pitpass report that the tyre won’t be appearing?

    1. Because they’re Pitpass. They have about as much credibility as Max Mosely does these days. There’s a reason why they’re also known as “Spitpass” (and several other names that will be blocked by the swear filter).

    2. Because they’ve interviewed Hembrey from Pirelli. So Pirelli gives mixed signals when they confirm to Keith and Hembrey tells Pitpass that it’s still not decided.

    3. Because sPitpass editor Criss Sylt blah blah

  4. I always liked turn 1 of A1 Ring as in the last race that was hosted there in 2003 many drivers made mistake in that race at that place.Secondly I will always remember that as the best victory of Schumacher,despite having a fuel fire in the first pit stop he managed to win the race,that was the first time I saw how cool is Schumi is.

    1. While it’s great that you remember that, the unfortunate truth is that when you ask fans what comes to mind when you say Schumacher and Austria, they’ll likely recall the 2002 episode before any other.

      1. Actually, the first thing coming to my mind was “Oh dear” Montoya

        1. Same here!

          “It’s like a horse…with horns”


        2. Prisoner Monkeys
          15th May 2011, 9:32

          Actually, the first thing coming to my mind was “Oh dear” Montoya

          And how, exactly, was Schumacher involved in that incident?

          Read my post again. Specificailly this bit:

          when you ask fans what comes to mind when you say Schumacher and Austria

          Schumacher and Austria. Not just Austria itself.

          1. PM, Verstappen was telling you what HE thinks of Austria. Yes Schumacher wasn’t involved in that particular thing but what you said was your opinion and what he said was HIS opinion. That was the first thing that entered HIS mind.

          2. Prisoner Monkeys
            15th May 2011, 11:56

            Yes, I know Verstappen was telling me what he thinks of Austria. But that wasn’t the question. The question was “What is the first thing you think of when I say ‘Austria and Michael Schumacher?'”

          3. You didn’t ask a question. You commented, he commented, what’s the ******* problem??

      1. and for the record this is what I remember of the A1 Ring at first thought…

        Heidfeld crashing into Sato and missing JPM by literally millimetres!

          1. Yeah but PM didn’t ask you therefore you’re not allowed to comment… lol :p

            That’s what I remember too (along with JPM and Schumi shoving eachother off on 01), I was pretty worried for Sato at the time, and looking at the video again I still think he was quite lucky.

      2. Thanks David A for the video as you can see what I meant,he was so cool that even he was looking at his rear view mirror to see when the fire goes out.Many drivers of today may have panicked of that incident & then forget about winning the race passing Raikkonen.

        Almost forgot about Montoya “DEER” story.

    2. Personally what I’ll always remember about Austria is the death of the 1-hour, 12-lap qualifying format. I and millions of others watched (can’t remember what year) for half an hour with no cars on track, because nobody wanted to be the one who wasted a set of tyres laying down rubber for everyone else.

      It was clear then it had to go and I’m only sorry it took so long to get it right again.

  5. Anybody notice the cameo by an 1990’s Benneton during the Eurovision Song Contest? Just before Italy’s performance I believe.

    1. My wife said that bit was filmed in the Wolfsburg VW museum/experience. They definitely have a nice bit of automotive history on how there!

    2. It was also quite ironic they used motorsport for the Swiss postcard, when motorsport is banned there!

  6. One of Ecclestone’s comments concerning a break-away series – he has the current tracks tied up in contracts. I guess now, he wants to dangle the carrot in front of the ones he hasn’t inked to keep FOTA off-balance and venue-less.

    1. Actually, a very real prospect for a breakaway series is for the teams to gain control of the commercial rights to the sport through News Corp and Exor, and keep Ecclestone in place. All that would change is the ultimate owner of the sport. In fact, back when the teams annouced their breakway series in 2009, Bernie Ecclestone sided with them. They’d be mad to ger rid of him – he has all the contacts in place and all the knowledge of how to run it. A breakaway series with Bernie will stand a much better chance of a breakaway series without him.

      But I’m sceptical of the prospect. It didn’t work last time around, and this time, Luca di Montezemolo is the only person talking about it. Reading between the lines of Luca’s comments, he’s upset with the current state of play because Ferrari aren’t winning races and already have an uphill battle just to stay in the championship fight. He pushed for three-car teams and it didn’t happen. He fought to have the new teams removed from the sport last year until they started getting faster. He’s called for changes to the 2013 engine regulations, and been critical of the sporting regulations. And he wasn’t too happy with Cosworth joining the sport. Ferrari has suffered a major erosion of their political power over the past few seasons, and without that political power they have no avenues to influence the future of the sport. That’s why he’s talking about a breakway series – because it will give Ferrari a chance to regain their political position straight away.

      1. The return of testing is seemingly also only supported by Todt and by the Ferrari team, with FOTA have quite a few reasonable, practical and financial problems with it; and worries for reducing a balanced F1 competition.

      2. I agree on the point where the teams taking an interest and going forward makes sense.

        But I also think they would possibly sideline Bernie to get a more future looking person in aiming to make more of modern communications (thats where Slim and NewsCorp fit in as well).

        And such a thing could hardly be called a breakaway series if they buy out CVC, could it?

  7. testing can be carried out by arranging more tires for teams on Friday & Saturday. the practice session can be expanded for another 4 to 5 hours or so. Qualifying can move on Sunday ahead of the race, this will allow teams to give testing times on Fridays to young drivers… carry on critical development on the tracks w/o having to pay huge sums of money to carry out special testing between races at other venues.

  8. Really like how in that article from the Sydney news paper the rest of the news is about Charlotte adopting Nascar as its official state sport.

  9. Poor form f1fanatic, poor form.

  10. I hope Red Bull will finally build the extension. The old Ostereichring was absolutely outstanding (maybe the most spectacular F1 track ever), and building the extension could bring back a little bit of the old track spirit.

  11. I’ve always missed the Austrian GP, and loved the circuit there too, especially the first corner. I also have fond memories of the A1Ring due to playing it for countless lost months on F1 2000 on ps1 :)

  12. First thing that crossed my mind, actually fairly disappointed to see how long it took for this take on the news to appear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.