“Racing has always been a big part of my life. It’s my passion. All the work I put in is to become the best. I am a competitor and will not rest till I get what I am after.”
After numerous start-line accidents, arguments with local farmers over car parking and a general feeling that the circuit was unsafe, the Austrian Grand Prix at the Osterreichring was finally pulled from the calendar in 1987. The track continued to hold other events but gradually fell into disrepair until Austrian telecoms company A1 provided the funds to redevelop the circuit. Renamed the A1-Ring, it brought Formula One racing back to Austria in 1997. It would continue to host Grands Prix for the next six years - including the infamous 2002 event which saw Rubens Barrichello hand victory to Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher within sight of the finishing line - before being dropped from the F1 schedule once more after 2003.
Over subsequent years, numerous improvement plans for the circuit stalled until it was eventually redeveloped and re-branded as the Red Bull Ring and reopened in 2011, since which time it has hosted series including DTM, World Series by Renault and European Le Mans.
There are numerous places of interest and fun things to do within a distance of the circuit. Those who enjoy the great outdoors are advised to take a hike in the hills surrounding Spielberg to the Tremmelberg watchtower which provides uninhibited views of the area. Alternatively, the Ingeringsee – an idyllic lake framed by mountains – is the perfect place to relax and unwind in natural splendour.
Culture vultures will enjoy paying a visit to the nearby town of Judenberg with its picturesque and historic centre and well-preserved walls, whilst the beautiful Benedictine monastery in Seckau is also well worth a visit. And when out and about don’t forget to try one of the local delicacies such as verhackert (made from bacon) and pumpkin seed oil.