Austrian Grand Prix

Austrian Grand Prix
Red Bull Ring
Spielberg bare map numbers contextless 2021 corner names.svg
Race information
Number of times held41
First held1963
Most wins (drivers)Switzerland Jo Siffert
France Alain Prost
Netherlands Max Verstappen (3)
Most wins (constructors)Italy Ferrari (7)
Circuit length4.318 km (2.683 miles)
Race length306.452 km (190.420 miles)
Last race (2022)
Pole position
Fastest lap
The controversial Ferrari 1–2 crossing the finish line in 2002.

The Austrian Grand Prix (German: Großer Preis von Österreich) is a Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile sanctioned motor racing event that was held in 1964, 19701987, 19972003, and then returned to the Formula One calendar in 2014.


The Austrian Grand Prix has been held at two different locations in southeastern Austria, being originally held in Zeltweg, about 70 km (43 mi) west of Graz. Since 1969 the Austrian Grand Prix has taken place in neighbouring Spielberg, with the two venues being within approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) of each other.[1] It was first held at the Zeltweg Air Base for six years, before a permanent track, originally called the Österreichring and later known as the A-1 ring and Red Bull Ring, was built.

Zeltweg Airfield circuitEdit

A non-championship event was held in 1963 at a race track on the Zeltweg Airfield and it was won by Australian Jack Brabham. The first championship event took place in the following year, and Italian Lorenzo Bandini won his only Formula One championship race in a Ferrari. The race was a success, but the track was deemed too dangerous; it was narrow and very bumpy, and spectators complained of poor viewing areas. The FIA removed the race from the F1 calendar until a suitable track was built.

The event was run in 1965 as a non-championship sports car race, the Zeltweg 200 Miles, before being adopted by the World Sportscar Championship from 1966 to 1969 as the 1000 km Zeltweg.[2]


From 1970 until 1987, the event was held at the Österreichring (translated literally as "Austria circuit", also located near Zeltweg). It was built in the scenic Styrian mountains and it was a fast, flowing track where every corner was high speed and long. The Austrian Grand Prix was designated the European Grand Prix once, 1975, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one Grand Prix race in Europe. The very fast track was popular with drivers, and the events were moderately successful. The first race on this track was dominated by Ferrari, with their more powerful Flat-12 engines enabled them to be 10 mph faster – which is a lot in racing terms. The 1971 race saw Swiss driver Jo Siffert dominate in his BRM and Briton Jackie Stewart took his second Drivers' Championship. The 1975 event was marred by the fatal accident of American Mark Donohue, and the race itself was rain-soaked and was won by Vittorio Brambilla, winning the only F1 race of his career, and, true to form, he crashed into the guardrail and broke the nose of his car shortly after crossing the finish line when the race was stopped early because the rain got worse (although the race started after 1 hour and 15 minutes of delay, due the heavy rain, with the drivers doing extra practice during this time). In 1976, home favourite Niki Lauda's appalling crash at the Nürburgring caused him to miss the race, which was won by Briton John Watson in the short-lived Penske F1 team, winning his first Formula One race (and Penske's only win in the category).

1976 had seen the Voest-Hugel corner changed slightly into one corner instead of two corners; but 1977 saw a slow three-corner chicane installed at Voest-Hugel, which was where Donohue had crashed two years before. What was the fastest corner on the track was now the slowest corner there and would become known as the Hella-Licht Chicane. This race was won by Australian Alan Jones in a Shadow; and like with Brambilla and Watson, it was his first Grand Prix victory. 1978 saw the dominant Lotus 79s on the front row, and American Mario Andretti crashed at the Glatz Kurve on the first lap, and his teammate, Swede Ronnie Peterson took victory. 1979 started to show the superiority of turbo-charged engines on this fast and high-altitude circuit. Although Jones won again in a Williams, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Rene Arnoux in their Renaults were able to dominate this event and also the following year's race, which Jabouille won. 1981 saw three turbo-charged cars dominate the front row; and into the race, the immense power and dreadful handling of Didier Pironi's Ferrari helped him to hold up four better handling cars and get into a five-way battle for third place, which went on for a while but the four cars eventually passed him, one of which was Jacques Laffite who went on to win the race. 1982 saw a spectacular show in which five turbocharged cars dominated the grid; all but one of these cars retired with mechanical problems, including Italian Riccardo Patrese who had a spectacular accident at the Texaco Bends, and Frenchman Alain Prost whose engine expired with a few laps to go while in the lead. After Prost's retirement, the race turned into a dead-heat sprint between Italian Elio de Angelis in a Lotus and Finn Keke Rosberg in a Williams. In the beginning, Rosberg had been steadily chipping away at de Angelis; but after Prost retired, Rosberg began to make up 1.5 seconds a lap on de Angelis; and on the last lap the two so-far winless drivers battled for victory, and de Angelis was able to hold off Rosberg and win by less than half a car's length; 0.05 seconds. 1984 saw Lauda finally take victory at home Grand Prix in his McLaren, and Prost won the next two races. The 1985 race saw a fearsome crash at the Panorama Curve when Andrea de Cesaris spectacularly rolled his Ligier, which led to him being fired from the team. 1986 saw Austrian driver Gerhard Berger lead the early laps in his 1,400 bhp (1,044 kW; 1,419 PS) Benetton-BMW, but electrical problems saw his race ruined allowing Alain Prost to take the win by over a lap from the Ferraris of Michele Alboreto and Stefan Johansson.

The 1987 race was restarted twice due to accidents on the narrow pit-straight grid; and this track was also deemed too dangerous by FIA standards, because of the number of high-speed corners, lack of protection from trees and embankments and accidents at the start of many races on the narrow and confined pit straight. Increasing speeds were also a growing problem at the Österreichring: that year, polesitter Nelson Piquet averaged 159.457 mph (255.756 km/h) in his 1,100 hp Honda-powered Williams. Piquet finished second to his teammate, Briton Nigel Mansell. Attempts to bring the race back were unsuccessful, and the event disappeared for a decade.


Special events are commonly held before the Grand Prix.

In 1995 and 1996, the Österreichring was refurbished and brought up to date, which allowed the race to run again in 1997. Since the track, which was renamed A1-Ring after a sponsor, is located on the municipal territory of Spielberg, Spielberg was now given as the site of the Grand Prix. The whole layout was redesigned by Hermann Tilke, and the track lost all of its long, sweeping corners, aside from the Texaco Bends (which were made shorter and slower) and the Hella-Licht chicane, Flatschach, Dr. Tiroch curve and the first half of the backstretch run up to where the Bosch-Kurve was taken out and replaced with a bypass that went directly to the second half of the fast, uphill backstretch. The 2002 event received negative publicity after Ferrari instructed Rubens Barrichello to cede his victory to Michael Schumacher. It was a mainstay on the calendar until hosting its final race in 2003.

Red Bull RingEdit

In July 2013, it was reported that the circuit's new owners Red Bull GmbH had reached an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to revive the Austrian Grand Prix after a ten-year absence from the calendar. The race was given a provisional date of July 2014.[3] On 6 December, the officially released calendar included the Austrian Grand Prix on it.[4]

Winners of the Austrian Grand PrixEdit

Repeat winners (drivers)Edit

Drivers in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Driver Years won
3   Jo Siffert 1968, 1969*, 1971
  Alain Prost 1983, 1985, 1986
  Max Verstappen 2018, 2019, 2021
2   Ronnie Peterson 1973, 1978
  Alan Jones 1977, 1979
  Mika Häkkinen 1998, 2000
  Michael Schumacher 2002, 2003
  Nico Rosberg 2014, 2015
  Valtteri Bottas 2017, 2020

* Shared win with Kurt Ahrens Jr.

Repeat winners (constructors)Edit

Teams in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Constructor Years won
7   Ferrari 1964, 1965, 1970, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2022
6   McLaren 1984, 1985, 1986, 1998, 2000, 2001
5   Mercedes 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020
4   Lotus 1972, 1973, 1978, 1982
3   Porsche 1966, 1968, 1969
  Williams 1979, 1987, 1997
  Red Bull 2018, 2019, 2021
2   Brabham 1963, 1974
  Renault 1980, 1983

Repeat winners (engine manufacturers)Edit

Manufacturers in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Manufacturer Years won
10   Ford * 1967, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982
8   Mercedes ** 1998, 2000, 2001, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020
7   Ferrari 1964, 1965, 1970, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2022
3   Porsche 1966, 1968, 1969
  TAG *** 1984, 1985, 1986
  Renault 1980, 1983, 1997
  Honda 1987, 2019, 2021

* Built by Cosworth, funded by Ford (except 1967)

** Between 1998 and 2001 built by Ilmor, funded by Mercedes

*** Built by Porsche

By yearEdit

The Österreichring with the chicane, used from 1977 to 1987
The original Österreichring, used from 1969 to 1976
Zeltweg Airfield, used from 1963 until 1968

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Year Driver Constructor Location Report
1963   Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax Zeltweg Airfield Report
1964   Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari Zeltweg Airfield Report
1965   Jochen Rindt Ferrari Zeltweg Airfield Report
1966   Gerhard Mitter
  Hans Herrmann
Porsche Report
1967   Paul Hawkins Ford Report
1968   Jo Siffert Porsche Report
1969   Jo Siffert
  Kurt Ahrens Jr.
Porsche Österreichring Report
1970   Jacky Ickx Ferrari Österreichring Report
1971   Jo Siffert BRM Report
1972   Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Report
1973   Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Report
1974   Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Report
1975   Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford Report
1976   John Watson Penske-Ford Report
1977   Alan Jones Shadow-Ford Report
1978   Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Report
1979   Alan Jones Williams-Ford Report
1980   Jean-Pierre Jabouille Renault Report
1981   Jacques Laffite Ligier-Matra Report
1982   Elio de Angelis Lotus-Ford Report
1983   Alain Prost Renault Report
1984   Niki Lauda McLaren-TAG Report
1985   Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Report
1986   Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Report
1987   Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda Report

Not held due to safety concerns with the Österreichring
1997   Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault A1-Ring Report
1998   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Report
1999   Eddie Irvine Ferrari Report
2000   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Report
2001   David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes Report
2002   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report
2003   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report

Not held
2014   Nico Rosberg Mercedes Red Bull Ring Report
2015   Nico Rosberg Mercedes Report
2016   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2017   Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Report
2018   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer Report
2019   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda Report
2020   Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Report
2021   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda Report
2022   Charles Leclerc Ferrari Report

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Zeltweg Air Base". Google Maps. Archived from the original on 28 December 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Zeltweg 200 Miles 1965 - Race Results - Racing Sports Cars". Archived from the original on 4 July 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Austrian Grand Prix set to return to F1 calendar in 2014". Haymarket Publications. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  4. ^ "2015". Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "Austrian GP". ChicaneF1. Archived from the original on 10 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Diepraam, Mattijs; Muelas, Felix. "Grand Prix winners 1894–2019". Forix. Autosport. Archived from the original on 17 August 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d Higham, Peter (1995). "Austrian Grand Prix". The Guinness Guide to International Motor Racing. London, England: Motorbooks International. p. 350. ISBN 978-0-7603-0152-4 – via Internet Archive.