Austrian Grand Prix

Red Bull Ring

First grand prix 1963

Number of laps 71

Race distance 306.452KM

Circuit length 4.318KM

About the Austrian Grand Prix

The Austrian Grand Prix has a long and colourful history in Formula One, held firstly at the Zeltweg Airfield before moving to the Österreichring, which became the A1 Ring, and is now more commonly known as the Red Bull Ring.

It was held in 1963 as a non-championship event, before being brought into the calendar for one season in 1964. One race at Zeltweg Airfield was enough for Formula 1, and it didn’t return until 1970, this time at the fast and fearsome Österreichring.

In 1988 the race was discontinued, before being brought back in 1997 with some changes to the track, but it only lasted seven seasons before it was scrapped once again. It returned for a third time in 2014 and has established itself as one of the most exciting tracks on the calendar due to its natural speed and difficulty.

Red Bull Ring Track guide

The Red Bull Ring is one of the shortest tracks on the F1 calendar, at just 4.3 kilometres, and only has eight corners, but its sweeping bends and elevation changes make it one of the best.

Situated in the picturesque Austrian Alpine countryside, the Red Bull ring has a beautiful setting and the track just adds to the scenery.

A relatively short start-finish straight leads into a quick left handed first turn, before the cars must wind their way up the hill to the tight turn two. It was here where we saw one of the few battles between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in 2018, with Vettel overtaking the eventual champion on his way to a podium finish.

The track then flows back down the hill into another tight right hander, where on lap one last year, Valtteri Bottas overtook both Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen to jump into P2 having dropped three places from pole position.

Two sweeping left handers follow at four and five before a sharp kink at six.

Seven and eight look easy but they are far from it. Blind on entry, these right angled right handers are quicker than you expect, and it’s very easy to run wide and lose time.

The Red Bull Ring is one of the most exciting and enjoyable to watch on the grid.

Race history

The first championship race in 1964 was won by Ferrari’s Lorenzo Bandini, with the first at the Österreichring also being won by Ferrari, with Jacky Ickx at the wheel this time.

In 1975, typical of the unpredictable 70s, the race was the only career victory for Italian driver Vittorio Brambilla, but the Austrian crowd will have had plenty more to cheer about when home hero Niki Lauda won there in 1984, on the way to his third world title.

The track was slightly adapted and re-designed for its return as the A1 Ring in 1997, losing some of its longer turns, but it kept its fast spirit.

There was controversy there in 2002, when Ferrari used team orders to tell Rubens Barrichello to move aside for Michael Schumacher, an order Barrichello obeyed, but did so on the final lap, much to the anger and disappointment of the crowd and those watching at home.

The race returned most recently in 2014, where Felipe Massa took a surprise pole position for Williams, their most recent pole in F1. Since its return, it has been won twice by Nico Rosberg, and once by Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Verstappen won the race in 2018 after both Mercedes drivers encountered problems and were forced to retire.

The Austrian Grand Prix always produces plenty of great racing and some unexpected results and is surely one of the most underrated tracks on the calendar.

When is the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix?

The race weekend in Austria kicks off Friday 2nd July with Free Practice 1 starting at 11:30am local time (10:30am BST, 5:30am EST). FP2 starts that afternoon at 3pm (2pm BST, 9am EST). On Saturday, FP3 starts at 12pm local time (11am BST, 6am EST), and qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix takes place at 3pm on Saturday (2pm BST, 8am EST).

The Austrian Grand Prix will start at 3pm local time on Sunday, June 30th (2pm BST, 9am EST)

Session Date Time
Practice 1 2 July 2021 05:30 - 06:30
Practice 2 2 July 2021 09:00 - 10:00
Practice 3 3 July 2021 06:00 - 07:00
Qualifying 3 July 2021 09:00 - 10:00
Race 4 July 2021 09:00 - 11:00
Times are in America/New_York Timezone
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