”]the 2002 Austrian Grand PrixMany younger F1 fans may not realise the importance of Austria to Formula One but with a long history of the Austrian Grand Prix (first staged as a championship race in 1964) and for many years at the iconic Österreichring) and with Austrian former World Champions Jochen Rindt and Niki Lauda as well as other Austrian drivers like Jo Siffert and Gerhard Berger amongst the sports greats: many believe that Austria deserves to have a place on the calendar almost as much as other noticeable absentee France.



Well it seems that we may not have to wait much longer with the running of the Austrian Grand Prix set for the 6th of July 2014. The Österreichring circuit may be gone but it has evolved, via the A1 Ring, into the modern Red-Bull Ring, owned by Dietrich Mateschitz’s soft drink company who of course also own the Red Bull and Toro Rosso teams.


Often we hear rumours of Formula One moving to a circuit before negotiations have even begun in earnest, often the rumours are put out by the circuit owners to garner support. With the Red Bull Ring though there were few if any mentions that this was on the cards but the team behind the negotiations have today announced that the agreement is all but completed it seems.


The last time the Austrian Grand Prix was run was in 2003 at the A1 Ring, the circuit though needed modernisation and a track extension was planned. However it wasn’t until Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz decided his company should buy the A1 Ring circuit and took the decision to invest in it heavily that re-development really began in earnest with the circuit reopening in 2011.


The FIA still need to confirm the agreement at the next World Motorsport Council meeting but it seems from Red Bull’s announcement this morning that the vital agreement between the circuit and Bernie Ecclestone has been completed. Any problems now would probably only be due to concerns about the safety of the circuit but it is already used for top level FIA sanctioned motorsport and was redeveloped with Formula One Racing in mind.


The Austrian Grand Prix had been mentioned as a replacement this year for the postponed New Jersey Grand Prix but this idea never came to fruition. Whether the agreement now is to fill the gap the New Jersey Grand Prix will leave if it is cancelled, is unclear. The addition of a new race to the calender though will raise questions about the New Jersey race, which many believe is now unlikely to go ahead: especially as it would seem otherwise another race would need to be removed in order to fit in the Austrian race as there are already likely to be 20 races next year prior to the Austrian race being added.