Red Bull Ring, Austria Track Guide

Red Bull Ring

Spielberg – Austria

The Red Bull Ring, located in Spielberg, Austria returned to the Formula 1 calendar in 2014 to host the Australian Grand Prix, after hosting races on and off since the 1970s. Being in the heart of Europe, it is one of the most popular events on the calendar.

The 4.318 km, 10-turn Red Bull Ring is a fast circuit of just over one minute around the enchanting landscape of the Styrian mountains. Prior to 2014, the Red Bull Ring, originally known as Österreichring, hosted the Austrian GP from 1970 to 1987, and from 1997 to 2003 when it was renamed A1-Ring.

It is a track that has undergone major modifications and renovations over the decades, but which has maintained its characteristic classic seal, offering good racing with an unbeatable atmosphere.

Red Bull Ring: Complete Data

Official NameRed Bull Ring
LocationSpielberg, Styria, Austria
TypeRace Circuit
Track Length4.318 km (2.683 miles)
Race Distance71 laps (306.578 km)
Grand Prix Held34 (1970-1987, 1997-2003, 2014-present)
Race Lap Record1:05.619 (Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, 2020)
Most PolesNiki Lauda, Rene Arnoux, Nelson Piquet, Valtteri Bottas & Lewis Hamilton
Most WinsMax Verstappen (4)

Red Bull Ring: History

The Österreichring was built in 1969 to replace the bumpy Zeltweg Airfield circuit, located across the street, which hosted the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix and which basically consisted of 2 long straights with a hairpin and a somewhat slower rectangular section.

In its original layout, the Österreichring was a very narrow circuit in all its sections, barely 10 meters wide, but tremendously fast, with big elevation changes in a beautiful landscape, and was considered very dangerous by many, without much run-off area.

The Österreichring began to host the Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1970, and the first changes to the layout were made in 1976 after several accidents, adding a chicane to the fastest corner of the circuit. Thus, the circuit was maintained until 1987, when safety concerns and lack of funding from the organizers caused it to fall off the calendar.

After that, during the mid-1990s, the circuit was completely rebuilt and redesigned by Hermann Tilke. It was shortened from 5.942 km to 4.326 km, and some of the faster parts of the track were modified with tighter corners to create more overtaking points.

Thus, thanks to funding from the telephone company A1, the circuit was renamed A1-Ring and returned to the F1 calendar between 1997 and 2003 before falling into disuse again.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz bought the circuit after that, and after a few years in a state of semi-abandonment, the reconstruction of the circuit began in 2008, with new infrastructure and new asphalt.

The Red Bull Ring began hosting races of numerous competitions in the following years and the Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014, which has been uninterrupted since then, hosting a second race in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Red Bull Ring: Layout Guide

As we have seen, the layout of the Red Bull Ring has changed significantly over the decades, undergoing shortening and the introduction of new corners and sections. Today, with 4.318 km and 10 turns, it is one of the fastest circuits of all.

After the start straight, the first corner, which is uphill, is a very fast right-hander, where you brake late and must attack the inside and then the outside curb to get a good exit. It is followed by an uphill and curved straight, followed by another right-hand corner where you brake late but harder, downshifting to third, and whose exit is crucial to take the next straight.

This third straight is shorter than the previous one and goes downhill. Therefore it is necessary to brake relatively early to take turn 4, a kind of long hairpin to the right that joins turn 5. This is followed by turn 6, blind and left-handed, where only a bit of braking is needed before heading into turn 7.

Turn 7 and Turn 8 form a long, fast left-to-right chicane where it is easy to run off into the gravel. Coming out of the chicane, the drivers move to the left to take a straight that first goes uphill and then downhill, leading to turn 9, a very fast right-hander, where only a touch of braking is necessary. Immediately after is Turn 10, a 90-degree right-hander, which is crucial for exiting with good speed onto the start straight.

Red Bull Ring: Onboard Lap

The following video shows Max Verstappen’s pole lap onboard in 2022. The Dutchman clocked a time of 1:04.984, taking 30-tenths of a second off second-placed Charles Leclerc. On Sunday, Verstappen completed a fantastic race to materialize the win.

During this onboard, you will see how fast the Red Bull Ring is, and its privileged location, which makes it one of the most beautiful laps of the entire calendar.

Red Bull Ring: Weather

In recent years, the Austrian Grand Prix has been held in early July. The average maximum temperature in Spielberg during July is 24ºC, while the minimum temperature is around 12ºC. Also, in July there are on average about 16 rainy days, so there is a high chance of rain, although in recent years it has not rained in any race, only in qualifying or free practice.

All this makes it a great event to attend as a fan, with very pleasant temperatures and generally bright blue skies.

Red Bull Ring: Curious Facts

  • Although is only the fourth shortest track on the calendar, behind Monaco, Mexico, and Brazil, the Red Bull Ring has the quickest overall lap time on the calendar.
  • Max Verstappen is the most successful driver at the Red Bull Ring, with 4 wins at the Austrian Grand Prix. During this Grand Prix, the Dutchman has great support from his fans, with numerous stands reserved for the so-called “Oraje Army” of fans.
  • The circuit has seen two of the closest finishes in Formula 1 history. The first was in 1982 when Elio de Angelis took his Maiden win just 0.050 seconds ahead of Keke Rosberg. 20 years later, Rubens Barrichello was ordered by Ferrari to pass Michael Schumacher for the championship, finishing just 0.182 seconds behind.

    For this, Ferrari was fined $1,000,000 and even the FIA changed certain aspects of the sporting regulations.
  • Along with other Formula 1 tracks such as Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Silverstone, and the Circuit of the Americas, the Red Bull Ring also hosts a MotoGP Grand Prix.
  • Niki Lauda is the only Austrian to win the Austrian Grand Prix, in 1984. In addition, he achieved 3 pole positions. Together with Jochen Rindt, who won the championship posthumously in 1970, as well as the pole position in Austria that season, he is the only Austrian Formula 1 world champion.
  • This circuit was legendary track designer Hermann Tilke’s first commission for a major Formula 1 circuit when A1 took over the project.
  • With an elevation change of 63.5 meters per lap, the Red Bull Ring is the second highest on the calendar, second only to Spa-Francorchamps.
  • In 2020, the Red Bull Ring became the first circuit to host the first two rounds of the season, when it hosted the Austrian Grand Prix and the Styrian Grand Prix, due to changes in the calendar brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Remarkable F1 Races At Red Bull Ring

1982 Austrian GP

The 1982 Austrian Grand Prix, as previously mentioned, saw one of the closest finishes in Formula 1 history. Keke Rosberg’s Williams and Elio de Angelis’ Lotus started the race from sixth and seventh position respectively, and the two drivers, powered by Cosworth engines were climbing positions while numerous turbo-engined cars retired due to problems.

Thus, during the last laps, Elio de Angelis was leading the race, while Keke Rosberg was chasing him, getting closer and closer. With two laps to go, the Finn was just over a second and a half behind the Italian, and when he caught up, he tried everything to overtake him, but de Angelis’ relentless defense made it impossible.

In the final corner, Rosberg put his nose just behind the Italian’s rear end, tractioning better and exiting onto the straight almost parallel as he gained space. In the end, de Angelis crossed the finish line just 0.050 seconds ahead of Rosberg, making it the fourth-closest finish in history, and the first Lotus victory in four years.

1999 Austrian GP

After the serious accident at Silverstone that sidelined Michael Schumacher for a few months, the McLarens of Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard fought for the 1999 championship against the Ferrari of Eddie Irvine. For the Austrian Grand Prix, the McLarens locked the front row, with Häkkinen first and Coulthard second.

In the race, both McLarens collided at Turn 3, when Coulthard went on the inside, braking too late and without Häkkinen giving him much room. The Briton took the lead, while the Finn fell to the back of the grid.

For the next 60 laps, Häkkinen worked his way up the grid, completing overtake after overtake, being the fastest on the track and taking the fastest lap. After the pit stops, Irvine took the lead, with Coulthard second and Barrichello third.

Coulthard began a chase over Irvine for the victory during the closing stages of the race, while Häkkinen finally reached the third position. By the last lap, Coulthard was very close to Irvine, but finally could not overtake him, so the Irishman took a great victory very important for the championship.

2016 Austrian GP

In a season dominated by Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, and Nico Rosberg fought to the end for the title. One of the biggest clashes between the two occurred at the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton started from the pole position, followed by Rosberg, who dropped to fifth after a bad start. However, the German completed a great comeback to take the lead, also taking advantage of a Safety Car period after which Hamilton made a pit stop. On the final lap, the two Mercedes were neck and neck, with Rosberg first and Hamilton second.

Hamilton took advantage of Rosberg’s slipstream to overtake him on the second straight. The German went on the inside of Turn 3, braking too late and barely turning, so the two collided. Hamilton ran wide, while Rosberg stayed on track, but soon after the German’s front wing came off.

Thus, Hamilton took a fantastic victory, while Rosberg was able to stay on track but fell back to fourth place. It was a race full of action and incidents, in which Jenson Button’s McLaren Honda finished sixth, and Pascal Wehrlein’s Manor managed to score points.

2019 Austrian GP

In another season dominated by Mercedes, the Silver Arrows were unable to shine in the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, which had other protagonists. Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari took the pole position, while Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was second.

On Sunday, the Dutchman had a very bad start, dropping to eighth position and finishing the first lap seventh, while Leclerc held the lead, followed by the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. After the pit stops, Leclerc kept the lead, followed by Bottas.

Verstappen stopped 9 laps later, coming out in fourth position ahead of Hamilton and having fresher tires than anyone else. Thus, the Dutchman gave his all during the closing stages of the race, overtaking Vettel with 20 laps to go and Bottas 6 laps later.

The Dutchman was getting closer and closer to Leclerc, catching him with 3 laps to go. The two had a good close fight for 2 laps, with Verstappen finally overtaking the Monegasque at turn 3 on lap 69, after going inside and touching, and completing an epic victory.


The Red Bull Ring is one of the classic Formula 1 circuits, although it has not always been present on the calendar, falling off on several occasions and returning after being remodeled and rebuilt.

It is one of the fastest circuits on the entire calendar, which always offers close racing and a great atmosphere among the fans as it is located in the heart of Europe, among the Styrian mountains.