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Race information - Austria 2016 - Formula One heads back to the Red Bull track in Spielberg

Published by Christine

After building up such anticipation for the Baku race a fortnight ago, and then being disappointed, it's prudent to play down expectations for Austria. The Spielberg circuit may not be one of the classics of the F1 calendar, but it's certainly delivered some interesting races since its return to the F1 calendar. With changeable weather conditions, drivers constantly pushing the edges of the track limits and some tricky twisty sections, expect the unexpected at the Red Bull Ring.

Event schedule

The advantage that Hamilton had managed to claw back heading into Baku was diminished after NIco Rosberg's race victory there, and he has all the work to do. The defending champion is also wary of an impending engine related penalty, after experiencing many issues in the power unit area to date.

Red Bull own the track, and whilst they may or may not have acres of testing data from the circuit, they should still have something of a home advantage. Daniel RIcciardo is desperately looking for a race win, and having recently revealed that he could be in the running for a Ferrari drive, he'll want to impress this weekend.

The track is nestled in a picturesque location, bustling with green trees and gorgeous vistas. The incongruous sight of twenty two cars zipping through the countryside makes for fascinating viewing.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
01 JulFridayFree Practice 109:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
Free Practice 213:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
02 JulSaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00
03 JulSundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +02:00

Support racing for this event includes GP2 Series.

Expected conditions

It's always hard to forecast the weather ahead of most of the European events, as the changeable conditions can switch up very quickly. At the moment, it looks set to be a damp weekend, with early thunderstorms gradually drying up as the race draws near.


Spielberg, Friday


  • Low 14℃
  • Humidity 71%


Scattered thunderstorms

Spielberg, Saturday


  • Low 15℃
  • Humidity 62%

Scattered thunderstorms

Partly sunny and cooler

Spielberg, Sunday


  • Low 9℃
  • Humidity 69%

Partly sunny and cooler

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitRed Bull Ring
TimezoneGMT +02:00
Race debut1963
Length4.326 km
Distance307.020 km
Line offset0.126 km

In track news, the entire circuit has been totally resurfaced, in an effort to smooth the bumps and ease degradation. The grip should be higher after being worn in, although the tyre selection is different this year so drivers still may not know what to expect.

This year will be the 29th Austrian Grand Prix, although it has only been back on the calendar since 2014. As a smaller circuit taken from a larger historic track, the current layout has only been use for less than a decade. In that time, pole position has been useful for victory on three occasions.

Nico Rosberg has won both the races since 2014 - neither were from pole position but neither were from lower than third on the grid either. The furthest back a driver has won from is seventh.

Results for the 2015 Austrian Grand Prix
Free Practice 1Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:10.401
Free Practice 2Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1:09.600
Free Practice 3Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1:09.994
QualifyingLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:08.455
Grand PrixNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:30:16.930
Fastest lapNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:11.235

Tyre compounds

We're back to the ultrasofts again this week, and the battle at the front is superbly interesting. Hamilton and Rosberg have opted for different strategies on their softs and supersofts, whilst Ferrari have gone all in on the purple stripes with nine sets each. Renault have also gone for this, whilst Haas have opted for six - the lowest amount on the grid.

There's a nice mix of selections this weekend, with a variety of between 1 and 3 sets of the hardest compound for each driver, and between 2 and 5 of the middle compound.

Selected tyre sets per driver
Soft tyreSupersoft tyreUltrasoft tyre
Lewis Hamilton238
Nico Rosberg148
Sebastian Vettel139
Kimi Räikkönen139
Valtteri Bottas157
Felipe Massa247
Daniel Ricciardo247
Max Verstappen247
Nico Hülkenberg337
Sergio Pérez337
Kevin Magnussen229
Jolyon Palmer139
Daniil Kvyat247
Carlos Sainz247
Marcus Ericsson247
Felipe Nasr337
Fernando Alonso337
Jenson Button337
Pascal Wehrlein148
Rio Haryanto148
Romain Grosjean256
Esteban Gutiérrez346

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
ThursdayEsteban GutiérrezHaas F1 Team
Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso
Kevin MagnussenRenault Sport F1 Team
Felipe NasrSauber F1 Team
Kimi RäikkönenScuderia Ferrari
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing
FridayLuca FurbattoManor Racing MRT
Yusuke HasegawaHonda Motor Co. Ltd
Paul MonaghanRed Bull Racing
Rob SmedleyWilliams Martini Racing
Graham WatsonScuderia Toro Rosso
Beat ZehnderSauber F1 Team
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
Garry ConnellyDeputy President of the FIA Institute, Director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety, F1 and WTCC Steward, and FIA World Motorsport Council Member.
Martin DonnellyFormula One driver 1989-1990, demonstrates in the Lotus 102 at various events, owner of Donnelly Track Academy.
Radovan NovakSecretary General of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, and World Motor Sport Council member.

All content in the series Austria 2016