Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Ring, 2011

F1 cars run on the A1 Ring once again

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Red Bull brought F1 back to the A1 Ring last weekend to celebrate the re-opening of the track.

The circuit, which was originally known as the Osterreichring, has been renamed the Red Bull Ring. It hosted the Austrian Grand Prix in its original guide from 1970 to 1987 and in its later form from 1997 to 2003.

The circuit’s configuration remains unchanged from when it last held the Austrian Grand Prix eight years ago.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were among the drivers present at the official opening ceremony.

The event also featured exhibition runs of classic F1 cars as well as demonstration laps by the Red Bull at Toro Rosso drivers.

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey took to the track in a BMW M3. Vettel left his mark in the wet cement at the circuit including an impression of his ‘number one’ finger gesture.

Bernie Ecclestone and Austrian former F1 drivers Niki Lauda, Gerhard Berger and Helmut Marko were also present.

However one driver at the wheel of an ex-Jochen Rindt Lotus 49 crashed into the pit wall in the wet conditions. See the second video below to see what happened.

F1 at the Red Bull Ring: Video

This video includes interviews with Vettel, Webber and Horner:

This video includes more footage of the track action including several classic F1 cars:

F1 at the Red Bull Ring: Pictures

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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47 comments on “F1 cars run on the A1 Ring once again”

  1. It’s awkward to see Horner and Newey in a racing suit!
    I like how Red Bull do things in grand!

    1. I know Newey has driven the RB5 (or was it the 6) I’d love to see Christian Horner do the same! Or have all four of them on the grid at the same time haha

      1. Newey’s an experienced racer and owns a number of classic racing cars :)

  2. Never liked the A1 Ring, it (was) is too simple and boring. I thought they changed it somehow, but no, they just renamed it to Red Bull Ring,..
    But I guess RedBull needed a test track and that’s it,…

    1. They had grand plans for the track but they fell through. See yesterdays round up comments for the details.

      1. I like the simplicity of it. Not all of Tilke’s tracks should be 24-corner behemoths.

        It was always great fun to drive in Grand Prix 4 too. Very fast, lots of elevation changes, and a few great corners.

        1. Really? I found it quite boring on GP4 the first sector was cool with some difficult corners but the remainder just seemed a little pointless to me??

          It is quite unique for a Tilke track i’ll give it that much however.

          1. I agree actually, it was always great fun to drive in games…and variety is a great thing.

  3. “Vettel left his mark in the wet cement at the circuit including an impression of his ‘number one’ finger gesture.”

    Did anyone else groan out loud when they read that!? It’s bad enough that the image of the Seb finger is burned into my memory, now its immortalised in concrete too!

    1. I saw that too.. it was hilarious!

    2. better than alonsos antler dance.

      1. Lol, so true.

    3. I can’t understand why people are so annoyed by his gesture.

    4. Yeah, that really got me. THAT finger thing in concrete.

      Then they even topped it with getting Marko in there as well as a winner … at le Mans! So where Berger and Lauda already there? And what about Webber, he has certainly won at least as much as Marko, hasn’t he.

    5. That’s what I’m talking’bout!

  4. Nice footage of those vintage F1 cars. Seems it was pretty wet on track with all those cars spinning around.

    Loved the sportscars.

  5. What a nice day out it must have been for the spectators.

    I always thought the A1 Ring was the naffest name for a track, though.

    1. Maybe they were trying to be the first name in the phone book.

    2. It is named after a sponsor, I assume you know?

      1. No I didn’t! I’ve looked it up and I recognise the logo used now. I like the idea of a “Bullring”…. hopefully where the bulls go to get slaughtered by Spanish matadors :-D

  6. you got to give them their due, they put on a good show!! i would love for this circuit to come back

  7. I’d love this circuit to get back on the calendar.

    It’s small and short, with a simple layout and beautiful surroundings. It’s SOMETHING DIFFERENT :D

    Besides, anything that can halt the Tilke onslaught and bring F1 back to a european nation with F1 heritage has to be a good thing.

    1. I thought this track’s redesign was Tilke’s doing, though.

      Regardless, I do agree that I’d like to see them race here again.

      1. Knowing Bernie it’s more probable to have a GP in Cuba or Vietnam then at A1 Ring.

        1. A1 Ring.

          Now Red Bull Ring.

      2. Yeah the redesign was done by Tilke.

  8. A beautiful circuit with a nice, simple layout. Would make a nice, refreshing re-addition to the calendar, but is there room for it?

    1. Maybe for a couple of years, but I can’t see it having a long term future.

      If one or more of Bahrain, Valencia and Turkey don’t make it on for 2012, there could be an opportunity there.

      I think that once Russia comes in, and Mexico will probably follow soon after, there won’t be any chance – so it’s now or never.

    2. yeah i agree. When the whole Bahrain Endurance circuit experiment was happening, there was a lot of discussion on this site about which of Bahrain’s layouts should be used for a GP. If i remember rightly, the outer-ring configuration was by far the most popular with fans, because we felt it would offer a unique spectacle with high speeds and lots of overtaking. The layout of the A1 is not dissimilar to Bahrain’s outer circuit at all, though much better due to the inclusion of a few high speed corners as well.

  9. eewwwwww!!!!
    Helmut Marko’s Feet!! *vomiting sounds*

      1. Mouse_Nightshirt
        16th May 2011, 20:26

        Honestly though, *what* is he doing there?

        1. He did win the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1971, so he’s not without racing pedigree.

  10. Marko’s feet… why did it have to be Marko’s feet. *yuk*

    They didn’t want Webber’s feet then?

  11. We need more circuits like the A1 (sorry but it will always be the A1 to me)…long straights going into tight slow corners.

    The A1 track has always held eventful GPs in the past &
    RedBull did the right thing in investing into it (rather than seeing another classic circuit decompose to a sorry state).
    However its for that very same reason why I would not like to see it on the calendar Im sad to say – it would be like having a GP at the Fiorana track.

  12. The immortalization of Vettelfinger is bizarre and I think Vettel will be embarasseda about, eventually. A generation from now people will wonder why on earth some guy imprinted the back of his hand with forefinger extended, and the explanation will not be credible. Because who does that? Is it an ironic homage to the American-style giant foam finger once popular at football games? Is it typical of an obsucure Kung-Fu fighting style?

    1. It’s because he’s number one, baby! a colossal donkey.

  13. I always liked the old Österreichring more. Fast and sweeping corners like a roller coaster.

    I know, I know, security above all so it’s impossible to race on it again.

  14. What I wouldn’t give to hustle that Sprint Cup car around the track.

  15. Those old (well, not really that old but hey) GT1 cars are beautys. But I vagely remember an interview from mark webber stating he would never get into one again after flipping one at le mans.

  16. I liked the A1-Ring, never saw the old Osterriech Ring. Gives me the opportunity to dig this one out…


  17. This is somewhat but not totally unrelated. I was reading an article in an old F1Racing magazine about Stewart Grand Prix. Why is it that with all of the fancy celebrities and guests present at Grands Prix on Red Bull Racing’s dollar, I’ve never seen Sir Jackie or his son Paul as their guest in the paddock? Even if there is no direct link between them, the team was technically born as SGP. Maybe Jackie and Paul have just refused?

  18. Mr.Zing Zang
    17th May 2011, 0:20

    That is not leaving RedBull for now. he’s officially tied.

  19. Hope it’ll never be included again in F1 calendar. It’s a too simple (boring) track. It has nothing special. There are already too many boring Tilke tracks. We don’t need one more. Why not having back circuits like Estoril, Jerez, Imola – which are great?

  20. Don’t worry guys, I’ve got a great jackhammer!!!

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