The Austrian Grand Prix is more than a premier motorsport event.
It is a story of passion and determination that dates back to the 1950s when a local group of motor racing enthusiasts created a simple L-shaped circuit with hay bales and hosted the country’s first international race. The Osterreichring, though criticised for being a bumpy track, was located in a natural basin and proved to be one of the fastest circuits in the world. The track's impressive corners, distinct aesthetics and demand on driver skill would pass into Formula One legend.
But after numerous start-line accidents, arguments with local farmers and safety concerns, the Austrian Grand Prix at the Osterreichring was pulled from the calendar in 1987. The track gradually fell into disrepair until local telecoms company A1 redeveloped the circuit and brought Formula One racing back to Austria in 1997. It would continue to host Grands Prix for the next six years, including the 2002 event in which Rubens Barrichello handed victory to Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher just short of the finishing line, before being dropped from the Formula One schedule once more after 2003. Since revamped and rebranded as the Red Bull Ring, Austria’s legendary home ground circuit promises a thrilling experience for spectators attending the Austrian Grand Prix.
The lush province of Styria is often called the ‘Green Heart’ of Austria due to its beautiful Provencal landscape. Huge forests with centuries-old trees, vast vineyards and alpine valleys characterise the region, which is also home to the city of Spielberg - a hub of restaurants, cafes and bistros. You can sample locally-produced wines and beers, as well as some of Austria’s local delicacies, all while planning your next activity. The Murtal countryside is widely known for its excellent hiking trails, lakeside cycling, watersports and wine country, and in fact has been referred to as the 'Styrian Tuscany.' The longest bike path in Styria is the River Mur Cycling Trail which offers spectacular scenery all the way through to autumn. About an hour’s drive from Spielberg is the university town of Graz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is filled with interesting galleries, museums and Baroque architecture.