F1 2013

Austria returns to F1 calendar

Austria’s sweeping and majestic Red Bull Ring, formerly the A1 Ring circuit, nestled in the foothills of the Styrian Mountains, is to return to the F1 calendar next season following an announcement from the Milton Keynes-based Red Bull team.

The former A1 Ring has undergone extensive rebuild and refurbishment since its 2011 purchase by Red Bull.

The former A1 Ring has undergone extensive rebuild and refurbishment since its 2011 purchase by Red Bull.

The energy drinks giant, based in Austria, claims a deal has been struck with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to hold the first Grand Prix at the circuit since 2003. Ecclestone has finalised discussions despite recently being indicted by a court from neighbouring Germany on a charge of bribery amounting to £29 million.

The circuit last hosted a race in 2003, a year after the 2002 race (pictured here) descended into controversy after Ferrari used team orders to enable Michael Schumacher to win.

The circuit last hosted a race in 2003, a year after the 2002 race (pictured here) descended into controversy after Ferrari used team orders to enable Michael Schumacher to win.

As the Osterreichring the Austrian Grand Prix was held at the circuit between 1970 and 1987, and again from 1997-2003 after the facility was re-branded the A1 Ring. Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull’s founder and chief backer of the F1 team, purchased the neglected track in 2011 and began multi-million pound renovation works that appear to have done enough to return the race to the top flight of motorsport.

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