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Next Race; A1 Ring, Austria


Length:4.326 km

Nb of Laps:71 (307.146 Km)

Best Lap:
M. Schumacher - 1'09''298
(2002, Ferrari)

Record Pole:
R. Barrichello - 1'08''082
(2002, Ferrari)

2002 Pole:
R. Barrichello - 1'08''082

2002 Podium:
M. Schumacher - R. Barrichello - J-P. Montoya

Leberstrasse 56-60
1110 Wien
Tel : +431 749 16 87
Fax : +431 749 16 88
1970 saw the first race at the popular A1-ring, which is set in magnificent countryside, with high-speed sweeps, and majestic corners. Jacky Ickx won that first race for Ferrari. This is the fastest track on the schedule, a favourite for many, and it sees many an unusual winner. In 1975, heavy rain stopped the race, with Vittorio Brambilla leading. This enabled him to take his only Grand Prix victory, which was marred when he crashed on his victory lap. American driver, Mark Donohue, sustained injuries when he crashed that morning, and a chicane was built at the Hella Licht Kurve as a result.

John Watson won his, and Penskeís only win in 1976, and in 1977, Australian driver, Alan Jones won his maiden victory. 1978 saw another rain drenched race, with Ronnie Peterson securing his final race win, before his tragic death. Niki Lauder finally won his home race in 1984, with Alain Prost winning in 83, 85 and 86.

Nigel Mansell took the win in 87, banging his head on a girder while being driven to the podium. The race itself was started three times, after massive pile-ups, and this is why the event was dropped, returning ten years later, with modifications. Jacques Villeneuve took the win for Williams in 1997, while the 98 event saw the first pole of the season go to a driver that wasnít in a Ferrari or a McLaren. Although Mika Hakkinen won, Giancarlo Fisichella had the elation of placing his Benetton on pole.

Eddie Irvine took the honours for Ferrari in 1999, the Irishman leading the Ferrari charge due to Michael Schumacher's accident at the British Grand Prix that saw the German sidelined for all bar two of the remaining races. Mika Hakkinen returned to the top step of the podium in 2000, followed home by teammate David Coulthard and Ferrari driver, Rubens Barrichello. In 2001 it was Coulthard's turn to shine, the Scot taking victory for McLaren.

Round six on the 2002 calendar was a race that will be talked about for years to come. After dominating the entire weekend, Rubens Barrichello was handed the order by Ferrari team bosses to move over and allow teammate Michael Schumacher to take the victory. The Brazilian did as he was told and Michael cruised past him on the final lap, only to be booed by the fans as he completed the parade lap and made his way to the podium. Feeling a degree of remorse, Michael pushed his teammate onto the top step of the rostrum as the rightful winner, an offence the team was fined by the FIA for afterwards for breaking tradition.
2002 : M. Schumacher (Ferrari)
2001 : D. Coulthard (McLaren)
2000 : M. Hakkinen (McLaren)
1999 : E. Irvine (Ferrari)
1998 : M.Hakkinen (McLaren)
1997 : J. Villeneuve (Williams)
1986 : A. Prost (McLaren)
1985 : A. Prost (McLaren)
1984 : N. Lauda (McLaren)
1983 : A. Prost (Renault)
1982 : E. de Angelis (Lotus)
1981 : J. Laffite (Ligier)
1980 : J-P. Jabouille (Renault)
1979 : A. Jones (Williams)
A lap of A1-Ring with Olivier Panis :
The A1-Ring in Austria is a track I enjoy. It is very dirty and dusty on the first day but is always good for overtaking. After leaving the grid, you accelerate along the pit straight on the approach to Castrol Kurve, the first corner. From top gear, you brake down into 2nd or 3rd gear, taking a lot of kerb on entry before accelerating quite early to prepare for the long straight.

You arrive at the Remus Kurve in top gear and brake very late. You have to take this corner in 1st gear because it is a very long hairpin. Then it is on to the back straight where you get up to top gear, and reach speeds of about 300kph. You brake for the GŲsser Kurve hairpin, drop down to 3rd gear, then accelerate through the gears on exit.

Then you have to brake for the two high-speed corners, which you pass through in 4th gear. Then the track starts to go downhill and there is only one line to take. If you lose this line then you will ruin your lap time. You exit in 4th gear through the chicane, then it is back up through the gears to top gear again to prepare for the double right-hander.

The first one, the Jochen Rindt Kurve, is quite quick and taken in 5th gear, but the second one is very important because it is very easy to make a mistake here. You go through the final corner in 3rd gear and then it is on to the pit straight again to complete the quickest lap of the year.


2003 Ferrarri

Engine: Ferrari

1. M Schumacher

2.R Barrichello


2003 BMW Williams

Engine: BMW

1.J-P Montoya

2.R Schumacher

The team have yet to launch their new cars

2003 McLaran Mercedes

Engine: Mercedes

1. D Coultard

2. K Raikkonen 


2003 Renault

Engine: Renault

1.J Trulli 

2. F Alonso 


2003 Sauber

Engine: Ferrari

1. N Heidfeld  

2. H-H Frentzen

The team have yet to launch their new cars

2003 Jordon

Engine: Ford

1. G Fisichella

2. R.Firman


2003 Jaguar

Engine: Jaguar (Ford)

1.M Webber

2. A Pizzonia


2003 BAR

Engine: Honda

1. J Villeneuve

2. J Button

The team have yet to launch their new cars

2003 Minardi

Engine: Ford

1. J Wilson

2. J Verstappen

The team have yet to launch their new cars

2003 Toyota

Engine: Toyota

1. O Panis

2. C.Da Matta


Max Mosley has come good on his promise to bring in sweeping reforms to cut costs in Formula 1.
He has bullied the teams into complying with threats to bring out artical 61 of the regulations that the driver is not allowed "assistance".
(Which would entail close inspection of the cars electronic wizardry)
But Why is this such a big issue??
Ā‚Launch Control, Traction control, and fully Automatic Gearboxes to be banned before the 2004 season
Ā‚No Telemetry between cars and pits, including spoken communication with the driver to adjust engine functions
Ā‚No Spare Cars
Ā‚Cars to be kept in Parke ferme after qualifying and before the race to ensure cars run in the same specification they qualified in
Ā‚Fully Auto Gearboxes Banned
Ā‚Standard specs on brakes and rear wings for 2004 season
Ā‚Engine manufacturers to provide more than one team from 2004
Ā‚Engine life to be extended to 2 races in 2005 and six races in 2006
Ā‚For 1. The concord agreement between the teams allows a single dissenting vote to Veto any proposal under the normal consensus rules F1 management method.
Ā‚And 2. It is the first time in a long, long, while that the FAI have said enough is enough.
Ā‚P.S. This will upset the motor manufacturers, who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to perfect the "Gizmo's" that have now, in one fell swoop, been made illegal and redundant.


As and Aussie, I wish Minardi all the best for 2003 and beyond!

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