Austria Formula 1 return confirmed as 2014 race gets legal approval
|By Gerhard Kuntschik and Scott Mitchell||Sunday, January 5th 2014, 10:56 GMT|
Formula 1 will officially return to Austria in 2014 after the circuit gained the necessary legal permission from local authorities.
The Austrian Grand Prix had been confirmed on the FIA's official calendar in December last year and was scheduled for June 22, subject to district administration formalities which have now been tied up.
Attendance for the race at Spielberg will be limited to 225,000 people over the three days, while circuit management expect a maximum of 80,000 people each day on Saturday and Sunday, despite previous forecasts of only half that number.
The event, first announced last summer, will be the country's first grand prix since 2003.
Austria made its debut on the F1 calendar in 1964 at the Zeltweg military airfield, but was only included for one season. It reappeared in 1970 at the Osterreichring, which remained on the schedule for 18 years until safety concerns meant it was dropped for the 1988 season.
The circuit's layout was changed massively ahead of its reintroduction in 1997 - renowned track designer Hermann Tilke's first F1 project - when it was rebranded as the A1 Ring and hosted seven grands prix through to 2003.
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, whose race team has dominated the sport for the past four seasons winning consecutive constructors' titles and also successive drivers' crowns with Sebastian Vettel, is funding the event himself.
He bought the A1 Ring in 2004, retaining the layout but completely revamping its facilities before reopening it in 2011, when it hosted DTM and Formula 2 races.