It’s time to wander up to the highest peak, spin around wildly and pronounce that the hills are indeed alive. Our resident stats guru – @F1StatMan – has prepared well for this edition of Fast Facts. He’s been watching the Sound of Music on repeat, practicing his version of Edelweiss and enjoying something called a ‘pork hat’ with lashings of mashed potato. While he reaches for another helping of spud, we’ve taken the opportunity to grab his Austrian Fast Facts.
This will be the 30th Austrian Grand Prix. The ﬁrst Austrian GP was held at Zeltweg in 1964 with a gap of six years until the next event at the Osterreichring. The almost 6km long circuit hosted the event until 1987 before falling off the calendar. A shortened version of the circuit, named the A1 Ring, rejoined the schedule from 1997 until 2003. The same layout, now christened the Red Bull Ring, welcomed Formula One back in 2014.
Alain Prost is the most successful driver at the Austrian Grand Prix. The Frenchman won the race three times, in 1983 for Renault and in 1985 and ’86 for McLaren. All his wins were scored on the Osterreich ring.
On the A1 Ring/Red Bull Ring, three drivers have multiple wins: Mika Hakkinen in 1998 and 2000 for McLaren and Michael Schumacher in 2002 and 2003 for Ferrari at the A1 Ring, and Nico Rosberg in 2014 and 2015 at the Red Bull Ring. Lewis Hamilton is the only current driver to have won at this circuit. The Briton won here last year for Mercedes.
Only three other drivers have won at the A1 Ring/Red Bull Ring: Jacques Villenueve in 1997 for Williams, Eddie Irvine in 1999 for Ferrari, and David Coulthard in 2001.
Current Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas secured his ﬁrst front row placing and his first podium finish (P3) at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Since then the Finn has been on the front row a further four times, the most recent of which was last time out at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Bottas isn’t the only driver to score his first front-row spot in Austria. Juan Pablo Montoya started from P2 in 2001, as did John Watson in 1976 and Clay Regazzoni in 1970.
Nine other drivers have taken a maiden podium finish at the Austrian Grand Prix: Bob Anderson in 1964, Regazzoni and Rolf Stommelen in 1970, Tim Schenken in 1971, Carlos Pace in 1973, Vittorio Brambilla and Tom Pryce in 1975, Alan Jones in 1977, Gilles Villeneuve in 1978. Bottas is the only driver to date to have taken a first podium on the current layout.
Five drivers have scored their ﬁrst win in Austria. Lorenzo Bandini in 1964, Brambilla in 1975, Watson in 1976, Jones in 1977, Elio de Angelis in 1982. Again, to date no driver has taken a maiden win on the current layout.
In 10 events at the A1Ring/Red Bull Ring, the race has been won from pole position four times- by Jacques Villeneuve in 1997, Hakkinen in 2000, Schumacher in 2003 and last year by Hamilton. Four winners have started from third place on the grid, one from P2 (Rosberg in 2015) and one from P7 (David Coulthard’s 2001 win is the victory scored from furthest back on the grid).
McLaren have the most Austrian GP wins of any constructor with six — a 1984-’86 hat-trick on the Osterreichring layout and three wins at the A1 Ring in 1998, 2000 – ’01. Next on this list is Ferrari with ﬁve victories. The Maranello squad is the only one to win on all Austrian GP layouts so far — in 1964 at Zeltweg, in 1970 at the Osterreichring and in 1999, 2002 and 2003 at the A1 Ring.
- The comer numbering has changed. The left-hand curve before the old Turn 2 now becomes Turn 2. Thus, all subsequent corners have been renumbered accordingly.
- Tyre barriers have been increased in depth in Turns 4, 7 and 8. Tecpro barriers have been added around the guardrail end at the pit entry.
- Orange ‘baguette’ kerbs will only be installed on the exit of Turns 6, 9 and 10. The spacing between them has been increased to 3.2m.
- Additional U-drains have been installed in a number of locations in order to help prevent water running across the track.
- At the request of the FIM some 30cm-wide ﬂat kerbs have been installed at the track edge in various places.
- There are two DRS zones. The ﬁrst has a detection point 360m before Turn 3, with activation 85m after Turn 3. The second detection point is 10m after Turn 9 with activation 110m after Turn 10.