Formula One moves to Austria for the first in a string of six races that will complete the European season. Gone are the times of the old airport layout, marked by hay bales. The current Spielberg track, located in the Southeastern Bundesstate of Styria, was built in 1969 and has gone through many changes in layout, before being reintroduced in 2014 after an eleven-year absence.
“It seems like the track is situated in the middle of the mountains” comments Sebastian Vettel. “I think the track is great. You have a lot of elevation changes, up and down, which makes it always nice. You see the mountains around. When you’re lucky you can even see some snow on the top of the mountains around. The weather can be either very good or quite bad, but usually it is a place to enjoy. The track is very short, there aren’t many corners. So, it is incredibly important to get every single corner right. The lap is very short, so you do a lot of laps and it’s important to find the rhythm very quickly and just go with it, especially during the race.”
“It’s another challenging track, very different from Baku where we’ve just come from, but also very different from Canada and Monaco” adds Jock Clear, Scuderia Ferrari’s Head of Race Activities. “As always, we try to approach these Grand Prix races with new parts, new updates, new setups, specifically designed with the difficulties of each track. Austria is a very simple track with only five real corners and some good straights. So, it is a balance of power circuit with the downforce circuit. In terms of technical challenge it’s one of the shortest tracks, so that all the very small details make slightly a more significant impact on your lap time. The circuit itself has been resurfaced this year, yet we don’t know what this surface is going to give us. We don’t know the impact on the tires, but that’s the same for all the teams. Perhaps it will be a different situation from last year but we can’t answer until we get there and we do our practice running on Friday”.