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F1: Red Bull Must Clear Hurdles For Austria GP Return Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Jul, 25 2013 | 0 Comments

Red Bull needs to clear some hurdles before the Austrian grand prix can go ahead in 2014.

The energy drink company and Bernie Ecclestone announced on Tuesday that an agreement to stage a race mid next year at the former A1-Ring, now called the Red Bull Ring, has been reached.

APA news agency said the "provisional" deal is for at least seven consecutive Austrian grands prix.

But Red Bull's statement on Tuesday admitted the deal is "on condition of approval by the required authorities".

One necessary approval, it has emerged, is the extension of the circuit's allowed spectator attendance for an event from just 40,000 people on two consecutive days.

"The question of the limits of the spectators," Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz admitted to Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, "is to be clarified."

Reports also refer to limitations of the allowed decibel noise levels at the track, and backdated permission for the formation of a spectator bank.

"The conditions (for a F1 race) will certainly not be easy to fulfil," said local ombudsman Karl Arbesser, according to the German-language Speed Week.

"I do not know if they (Red Bull) will have an operating license for 2014."

Another local administrator, Harald Schnedl, told APA that Red Bull will have to submit a full "noise, emissions and traffic engineering concept" prior to approval.

And Kleine Zeitung newspaper said the Red Bull Ring will have to improve the current media centre, which is currently "too small" for formula one.

Local residents, meanwhile, could also put up obstacles.

"Residents will have a say," said the report, "and could delay the proceedings with objections."

Meanwhile, Mateschitz admitted the race will cost him money.

"With the gate (ticket) receipts I will cover the organisational costs, but not the license fee.

"But Red Bull Racing won both of the world championships in the past three years, which was certainly an advantage to getting the race," he added.

(GMM)

 

Austria GP detractors not 'sensible' - Lauda

Niki Lauda has hit out at the detractors, following reports Austria's return to the calendar next year might stumble at hurdles.

It is claimed current rules prohibit more than 40,000 spectators from attending the Red Bull Ring at any one event, and that the circuit in Spielberg must also overcome obstacles relating to noise and environmental concerns.

It has also been reported owner Red Bull did not seek the right permission in building a raised spectator area.

Those reports angered triple world champion, Mercedes chairman and proud Austrian Lauda.

"Any reasonable person complaining about noise and grandstand seats should simply understand that this (the grand prix) is something positive.

"We are talking about a weekend for which jobs are created -- no sensible person could complain about it," he told the Austrian broadcaster ORF.

In contrast, he said that without Red Bull, who bought, demolished, rebuilt and relaunched the former A1-Ring, "the area would be completely dead".

"And now there will be the grand prix. It couldn't be better for Austria, and everyone in Styria should support it," said Lauda.

Earlier this year, Bernie Ecclestone ruled out Austria as a potential venue for a grand prix in the future based on there being not enough hotels in the area.

Laughing when told of his earlier objection, the 82-year-old told Kleine Zeitung newspaper: "I know I've always said that.

"But, yes, now there are some new ones (hotel beds), and maybe one or two more to come.

"And Graz is not exactly on the other side of the world."

Asked what really changed his mind about negotiating with Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz, Ecclestone insisted: "Nothing special.

"We just began to talk some more, and everything became more and more concrete.

"Look, Red Bull is very good for the sport; so professional, such high quality. I think they will organise a very good grand prix," Ecclestone added.

(GMM)

 

Ecclestone insists 2014 calendar to have 20 races

Bernie Ecclestone has played down suggestions the F1 calendar could blow out to an unprecedented 22 races in 2014.

The reports, including in the Italian magazine Autosprint, followed this week's surprise news that Austria will stage a grand prix next year, after a ten-year absence.

There are 19 races on the 2013 schedule, with Russia and New Jersey also scheduled to join next year.

But O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio said the prospect of a much longer calendar is "something that greatly concerns" F1 team bosses.

"The issue will surely be discussed at the Hungaroring in the coming days," he added.

That discussion, however, may no longer be necessary, in the wake of F1 chief executive Ecclestone's comments on Wednesday.

He told Austria's Kleine Zeitung newspaper: "We will have 20 races (next year), Austria included.

"Everything else I don't know -- please ask me again after the summer."

Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda said he suspects New Jersey will not take place in 2014.

"It didn't happen this year, because of a lack of money," he told the ORF broadcaster.

"As far as I know, it's already gone from the calendar," added Lauda.

(GMM)

 
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