The race circuit was founded as Österreichring and hosted the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix for 18 consecutive years, from 1970 to 1987. It was later shortened, rebuilt and renamed the A1-Ring, and it hosted the Austrian Grand Prix again from 1997 to 2003. When Formula One outgrew the circuit, a plan was drawn up to extend the layout. Parts of the circuit, including the pits and main grandstand, were demolished, but construction work was stopped and the circuit remained unusable for several years before it was purchased by Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz and rebuilt. Renamed the Red Bull Ring the track was reopened on 15 May 2011 and subsequently hosted a round of the 2011 DTM season and a round of the 2011 F2 championship. Formula One returned to the circuit in the 2014 season.
Originally built in 1969 to replace the bland and bumpy Zeltweg Airfield circuit, the Österreichring track was situated in the Styrian mountains and it was a spectacular, scenic and unique circuit. The track was very fast, every corner was a fast sweeper and was taken in no lower than 3rd gear in a 5-speed gearbox and 4th in a 6-speed gearbox and the track had noticeable changes in elevation during the course of a lap, 65 metres from lowest to highest point. Like most fast circuits it was a hard circuit on engines but more difficult on tires, because of the speeds being so consistently high. Many considered the Österreichring to be dangerous, especially the Bosch Kurve, a 180-degree downhill right-hand corner with almost no run-off area which, by 1986 when turbos pushed Formula One engine power to upwards of 1,400 bhp in qualifying, saw Derek Warwick speed trapped at 344 km/h in his BMW powered Brabham BT55 on the run to the Bosch Kurve. There were other testing corners such as Voest-Hugel, which was a flat-out 180 mph right hander that eventually led to the 150 mph Sebring-Auspuff Kurve which was an essential corner to get right because of the long straight afterwards that led to the Bosch Kurve.
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