Originally built in 1969 to replace the bland and bumpy Zeltweg Airfield circuit, the Österreichring track was situated in the Styrian mountains and it was a spectacular, scenic and unique circuit.
Some of the track was just road with little to no protection at all, even up to the final Austrian Grand Prix there in 1987, a race that had to be restarted twice because of 2 progressively more serious accidents both caused by the narrow pit straight in a similar manner to the 1985 race when the race was stopped after one lap following a start line shunt that had taken out three cars.
The Österreichring's safety concerns had reached a head in the mid 1990s, and in 1995 and 1996 it was totally rebuilt, at the same site, by Hermann Tilke. Its length was shortened from 5.942 km (3.692 mi) to 4.326 km (2.688 mi), and the fast sweeping corners were replaced by three tight right-handers, in order to create overtaking opportunities. Its three long straights, as well as a twisty infield section, asked for a setup compromise.
As much of the construction work was paid for by the mobile phone provider A1, the track was renamed the A1-Ring.
The grandstands and pit buildings were demolished in 2004, rendering the track unusable for any motorsport category.
In late 2004 and early 2005, there were intense discussions concerning whether the owner of the circuit, Red Bull, would find another use for the site, or return motor sports to the venue. There was a circuit extension proposal using part of the old Österreichring. In January 2005, return of motor sports seemed more unlikely than ever, as Dietrich Mateschitz publicly announced that he had no intention of wasting money on a deficient circuit. Throughout 2005 however, there was speculation of the newly founded Red Bull Racing renovating the track to use it as a test venue.
Late in 2008, Red Bull began their €70m reconstruction of the track and DTM chiefs considered a return to the circuit in 2009,and in September 2010, it was confirmed that the circuit would host a round of the 2011 DTM season, now known as the Red Bull Ring. The championship has visited the circuit every year since then until 2018.
In November 2010, F2 announced that Round 6 of the 2011 F2 championship would take place at the Red Bull Ring. The circuit was reopened at a special event over the weekend of 15–16 May 2011, which included displays of various Red Bull sponsored teams including Red Bull Racing.Courtesy: Wikipedia.
Track Length: 1969-75 Österrichring - 3.673 miles / 5.911 km 1976 Österrichring - 3.672 miles / 5.909 km 1977-87 Österrichring - 3.692 miles / 5.941 km 1988-1995 Österrichring - 3.636 miles / 5.852 km 1996-2004 A1-Ring GP Circuit - 2.688 miles / 4.326 km A1-National Circuit - 1.452 miles / 2.336 km 1996-2004 A1-Ring GP Circuit - 2.688 miles / 4.326 km A1-National Circuit - 1.452 miles / 2.336 km 2017 to date Red Bull Ring GP Circuit - 2.683 miles / 4.318 km
The Red Bull Ring is located at Spielburg, in the Styrian region of Austria. The nearest international airport is at Vienna is approximately two hours away by car, while the smaller airport at Austria's second city of Graz is closer, around an hour away by car, and offers domestic flights and connections to central Europe.