Red Bull bringing F1 back to Austria next year

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The Austrian Grand Prix will be revived in 2014 after a deal was struck between Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

The race will be held at the Red Bull Ring, scene of seven F1 races between 1997 and 2003 when it was known as the A1-Ring. The circuit layout is unchanged since F1’s last visit there ten years ago. A longer, faster version of the same track – known as the Osterreichring – held the race until 1987.

Next year’s Austrian Grand Prix is slated to take place on July 6th. It is one of three new races currently planned for 2014 along with a second American race in New Jersey. Russia is also due to appear on the calendar with a race at Sochi.

Those new races plus the existing 19 on the calendar could stretch F1 to a record 22 rounds. The most ever held in a single season was 20 last year.

The deal points to an increase in Mateschitz’s importance within Formula One. The soft drinks magnate already owns two teams – Red Bull and junior outfit Toro Rosso. He was previously involved in efforts to hold a grand prix in Thailand but the plans hit trouble when the government outlawed racing on the streets in Bangkok.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”