Hitting the Apex: Red Bull Ring

It’s Austria Race Week! Read on to know everything you need to know about the Red Bull Ring.

Written by Mees Drijgers

June 30, 2024

The Red Bull Ring is a race track located in Spielberg, Austria. It was built to replace the Zeltweg circuit down the road, and was first opened in 1969 under the name Österreichring.

From 1970 until 1987, the Austrian Grand Prix was hosted at the track, however due to safety concerns the track was removed from the F1 calendar. In 1995, the track was renovated. It was completely redesigned by architect Hermann Tilke, who drastically shortened the track. The track was renamed to A1 Ring, and it hosted the Austrian Grand Prix once again from 1997 until 2003, after which the contract with the circuit was cancelled. 

Red Bull Ring (Photo via @redbullracing on Instagram)

 

In 2004, Dietrich Mateschitz bought the track, and it was reopened in 2011 under the name Red Bull Ring. The circuit returned to the F1 calendar in 2014. In 2020, the circuit became the first European track to host the opening race of a Formula One season since Monaco in 1966. It was also the first time both Austria and the Red Bull Ring itself hosted the opening race. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the track hosted 2 races during the 2020 season. Ahead of the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix, extra gravel traps were added to Turns 9 and 10, in an attempt to avoid excessive penalties due to track limits.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Track distance: 4.318 km / 2.683 miles
  • DRS zones: 3
  • Corners: 10
  • Elevation: 63.5 metres
  • Laps: 71
  • Race lap record: 1:05.619 Carlos Sainz (2020)
  • Direction: clockwise

According to F1.com, Red Bull Ring configuration for this year is as follows:

 

 

PREVIOUS TYRE COMPOUNDS

  • Selected compounds in 2023: C5 (soft) C4 (medium) C3 (hard)
  • Selected compounds in 2022: C5 (soft) C4 (medium) C3 (hard)

Max Verstappen is the most successful driver at the track with a total of 5 wins. He also holds the pole position record, as he has 4 pole positions at the track. McLaren and Mercedes are the most successful constructors at the track with 6 wins each. Races at the track have been won from pole position 14 times.

Red Bull Ring (Photo via @mclaren on Instagram)

Although the Red Bull Ring is an incredibly narrow track, sitting at just 10 metres wide in all places, it is a very fast track as well. The track has many fast sweeping corners and also a noticeable change in elevation. With 3 straights and a pair of uphill right-handers, the first half of the track rewards power. As the track goes downhill for the second half of the track, the drivers deal with a series of quick corners.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

  • 2023 Max Verstappen
  • 2022 Charles Leclerc
  • 2021 (1) Max Verstappen
  • 2021 (2) Max Verstappen
  • 2020 (1) Valtteri Bottas
  • 2020 (2) Lewis Hamilton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mees was introduced to the world of F1 by one of her friends in July 2020 and hasn’t missed a race weekend since. Her favourite drivers are Alex Albon, Lewis Hamilton, Oscar Piastri, and George Russell; outside of F1, she also actively supports Liam Lawson and Callum Ilott. She specialises in writing about F2, but is looking to specialise in FE and IndyCar as well, after starting to watch both series in 2022. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture, she is currently getting MA degrees in Translation and English Literature & Culture. When she’s not watching motorsport, she’s either watching football matches (preferably Real Madrid), reading a book, or watching streams on Twitch.

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