Less than 70 seconds to do a lap, half of it at...

Less than 70 seconds to do a lap, half of it at full throttle: that’s Spielberg

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In the beginning, there was the airport called Zeltweg, near Spielberg, at the bottom of a valley, featuring a notoriously atrocious track surface. That’s where Formula 1 came for its first official Austrian Grand prix back in 1964.

It turned out to be the first and, unfortunately, the only win for Lorenzo Bandini, driving for Scuderia Ferrari. Then came the Osterreichring, a permanent track featuring some frightening high-speed corners. It staged the race up until that difficult 1987 event.

In the beginning, there was the airport called Zeltweg, near Spielberg

It would be ten years before F1 returned to the Styrian valley on a significantly shorter layout, which is pretty much the one in use today. The Austrian race returned to the calendar in 2014, along with the hybrid cars. The Zeltweg track is a favourite with the fans because of the atmosphere and the great view. Spielberg, as it is also known, is one of the shortest on the calendar in terms of distance and in time taken for a lap, half of which is spent at full throttle.

There are nine corners in total, a mix of hard braking and fast curves, with endless changes of gradient. For this race, the tyres will be the softest available: soft, supersoft and ultrasoft. That’s as long as the rain tyres are not required and, at the moment, the weather forecast for the weekend is still uncertain…

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