Less than a week before the French GP, Formula 1 is back on track this weekend for the first of two races at the Spielberg circuit: the Styrian Grand Prix is scheduled for this Sunday, while the Austrian Grand Prix will be held on 4 July. For the race that bears the name of the region in which the circuit is located, this is the second edition, after that of last year, when the plant that rises at 700 meters above sea level hosted the first two events of the 2020 season, at the end of long stop due to the pandemic.
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Just over a minute. The Spielberg circuit is one of the shortest of the season, with just 4.3km in length and just eleven corners. There are long straights that enhance the performance of the power units but there are also challenging changes of direction which, ultimately, make it a medium downforce track. A lap is completed in just over a minute and the average speed is among the highest in the World Championship. Contrary to what one might think Spielberg is, together with Monza, the track on the calendar on which the brakes are least stressed since the use is about ten seconds per lap. The only really challenging braking is that of turn 3, at the top of the climb that leads to the highest point of the track, one of the most exploited for overtaking together with the braking of turn 4. There are three DRS areas foreseen: on the main straight; on the climb between curves 2 and 3 and in the straight between curves 3 and 4.
GP contested 1015
Seasons in F1 72
Monaco debut 1950 (A. Ascari 2nd; R. Sommer 4th; L. Villoresi rit.)
Wins 238 (23.45%)
Pole position 230 (22.66%)
Fastest laps 254 (25.02%)
Total podiums 774 (25.42%)
Ferrari Stats Spielberg circuit (1997-2020)
GP contested 15
Debut Austria 1997 (M. Schumacher 6th; E. Irvine rit.)
Wins 3 (20%)
Pole position 4 (26.67%)
Fastest laps 3 (20%)
Total podiums 16 (35.56%)
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Styrian Grand Prix: numbers and curiosities
7. The rearmost position on the starting grid from which he won at Spielberg in the current configuration. It was David Coulthard who succeeded in 2001. The Scottish driver also holds the record for the podium achieved by sprinting further back on the grid: in 1998 he qualified 14th, finishing the Austrian Grand Prix in second place.
12. The districts into which Styria is divided – Steiermark in the local name – plus the statutory city of Graz (330,000 inhabitants). The Land, with its 16,388 km² of extension, is the second largest in Austria after the Niederösterreich region. The Spielberg circuit is located in the Murtal district, established in 2012 with Judenburg as its capital.
29. The average number of overtakes in the 15 Grands Prix held at Spielberg in the current configuration. The race with the most position changes so far has been the 2016 Austrian GP, with 66, followed by the 2020 Styrian GP, with 45, and the 2018 and 2019 Austrian GPs with 42. The race with fewer overtakes remains the GP of Austria 2003 – won by Michael Schumacher with the Ferrari F2003-GA – which saw only 15 position changes.
1957. The year of the first car race held in Austria. It was a competition for covered-wheeled Sport and Gran Turismo cars that was held on the circuit created on the runways of Zeltweg airport, a few kilometers from Spielberg. The Austrian Ernst Vogel won in a Porsche, while in the GT class the success went to the Italian Dore Leto from Priolo at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo.
5942. The length in meters of the Österreichring, the first track to be built in Spielberg in 1969. The track was very fast and characterized by a particularly varied altitude, resulting from the fact that it was located on the side of a hill. Over the years, as the performance of the single-seaters increased, the circuit became dangerous and obsolete for Formula 1, which competed for the last time in 1987. Eight years later, the new ownership of the plant hired the architect Hermann Tilke who redesigned the track by shortening it and making it safer, giving new life to Spielberg. Here it was competed from 1997 to 2003. Formula 1 then returned to Austria – after a further handover of the plant – starting in 2014.