FIA halts Austria GP track extension says Marko

F1's governing body appears to have put the brakes on plans to expand the current layout of the Austrian grand prix.

A year ago, track owner Red Bull started looking into reviving a fabled high speed section of the former Osterreichring called the Westschleife (west loop).

"It would separate the men from the boys a lot more than it does nowadays," former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said at the time.

But Dr Helmut Marko told the Austrian broadcaster ORF this weekend that the plans to expand the current Red Bull Ring have hit a hurdle in the form of F1's governing body.

"The FIA is currently not willing to allow such fast circuits with correspondingly short distances to the guardrails," said the Red Bull official.

However, Marko added: "Never say never."

But another well-known Austrian, F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda, backed the current Red Bull Ring layout.

"The track is interesting as it is now," he said.

"I do not think it would be a major improvement to revive the old circuit, because success speaks for the current course."

(GMM)

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