Honda F1 website

MARCH 4, 2006

A deserted race track in Austria

The future of the A1 Ring, the home of the Austrian Grand Prix, has been unclear for more than a year, following a decision by the Austrian authorities not to allow the development of the circuit by Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz. When the decision was made Mateschitz was already beginning work on the project and had demolished all the buildings at the site, including the pit garages and grandstands. Since then the track has been abandoned and the Steiermark region, one of the poorest in Austria, has gained no benefit from the site. There are various plans for reviving the facility with money from other companies but Mateschitz seems to have largely lost interst, having already lost a great deal of money on the project. In a recent interview he made it clear that small European countries such as Austria have little place in the modern Formula 1 which aims to expand into new countries in the developing world with the major targets at the moment being Russia and India.