F1 scraps reverse race plan for second Austrian GP

JUNE 5, 2021

F1 scraps reverse race plan for second Austrian GP

Charles Leclerc, Austrian GP 2019
© RV Press

Dr Helmut Marko has reluctantly ruled out spicing up the second Austrian GP this year by reversing the layout of the Red Bull Ring.

As Formula 1 grapples with the ongoing covid pandemic, Red Bull stepped up by offering to host a second race at the circuit it owns in Styria.

To keep interest high between one race and the next, Red Bull's F1 supremo Marko asked Liberty Media if the second race could feature 'sprint qualifying' - but the sport's three-race trial for 2021 was already set.

Plan B was a reverse-direction race, which according to Auto Motor und Sport would have cost between 5 and 8 million euros in required safety modifications to turns 1 and 3.

"Together with the FIA, we created a plan of how you could drive the race in the other direction," Dr Marko said.

"There were two tricky spots. In turn 3, you brake over a crest into nowhere.

"And in the starting corner, a car could fly into the spectators without special protection. The cars would have driven downhill towards the corner at high speed," he explained.

Another problem is that the required circuit changes between the first and second race could not have been carried out in such a short amount of time.

(GMM)

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