The first Formula 1 Austrian GP was held at Zeltweg Airfield in 1964.
The track had been completed in 1959, with the idea of repeating the success of that other airfield circuit, Silverstone.
But the F1 circus only visited it once, because the track surface was too abrasive. F1 returned to Austria in 1970 on a new track, not far from the original one, in the beautiful region of Styria.
It was called the Osterreichring, the only home the race has had from 1970 to 2019, even though the venue’s name was changed from Osterreichring to A1-Ring and now to the Red Bull Ring.
The race has been held in two periods at this venue, from 1970 to 1987 and from 1997 to 2003 and from 2014 to the present day.
Over time, the layout has changed with the original one being deemed too dangerous, a danger McLaren’s Stefan Johansson experienced first hand during Friday free practice in 1987, when he collided with and killed a deer.
The new life of Formula 1 in Austria
In 2014, the Austrian GP therefore made a comeback after an absence of a decade, after our owner Red Bull took over the track, renaming it the Red Bull Ring. That name is echoed in an incredible metal sculpture of a bull that sits right in the middle of the track on the hill between turns 6,7 and 8.
The Austrian Formula 1 weekend takes place against the stunning backdrop of the Styrian mountains that surround the natural bowl which holds the circuit.
This is always an important weekend for Scuderia AlphaTauri and of course, for our friends at Red Bull Racing.
In 2020, for the very first time, the Austrian Grand Prix was the opening Formula 1 world championship race of the season. The Red Bull Ring also hosted the second round, which went by the name of the Styrian GP.