Here are your tips on how to get there from Vienna…
The new F1 season truly came alive at the last race in Baku, with a surprise win for Austria’s own Red Bull Racing, and an instantly infamous road-rage incident that saw Ferrari’s Vettel deliberately bang into the Mercedes of his title rival Hamilton.
After catching its breath once more, the F1 circus will be wending its merry way to more local climes for the Großer Preis von Österreich (Grand Prix of Austria) in July. For the fourth year in a row and counting, the pinnacle (at least according to Austrians) of motorsports will grace Spielberg, nestled comfortably in the Styrian mountains.
The stunning scenery is not just lovely to look at, the hills around the track make for great visibility; and with 3-day general admission prices starting at just €95 from local ticket provider GP Ticket Shop, the Austrian grand prix is amongst the least pricy of the entire series. Naturally, grandstand seating is available all around the 4.3km circuit for anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand Euros – with the upper end securing you some high class cuisine for good measure – but if you don’t mind bringing your own camping chairs and arriving early, general admission comes highly recommended as a rare F1 bargain.
If you prefer the down-to-earth atmosphere prevalent away from the VIP boxes, campsites are still available for booking (we recommend the folks at Camping F1 for good locations and prices). Think beer tents and dirndls, waking up to the rumble of racecars, the smell of greasy barbeque and the sound of your tenting neighbors blaring out Nana Mouskouri at 6:00 each morning (true story – trust me).
Camping has its drawbacks though; if the thought of a tepid shower in a hastily-assembled toilet block is a deal breaker, the regular buses and ÖBB trains from Vienna to Graz and Zeltweg are in service more frequently over the race weekend, with special F1 connections that are hard to miss. Nearby Judenburg and Knittelfeld are also well connected to Spielberg, offering the comfort of a hotel bed.
Of course, you could simply drive, as the Red Bull Ring is just a few hours from Vienna. Traffic is well managed around the Spielberg race circuit, and if you can cope with a bit of queuing, you should be able to secure free parking within a 15-minute walk from the track. Not too shabby!
Local provider OETicket also has reasonably-priced event buses leaving from Erdberg, bringing you there and back in relative comfort within about 2 and-a-half hours per trip. Alternatively, if you really want to drink-in the glamour of F1, you can charter a private helicopter ride from Schwechat airport for around €9,000 through BookF1.
The weekend opens early with a pit lane walk on the Thursday afternoon, and you can bring a friend for free on the Friday if you hold a weekend ticket; grandstand seating is also freely available on that day. Off the track, there’s concerts and entertainment included in the ticket price: This year Roosevelt, Madcon, Seiler & Speer, EAV, Passenger and more are performing at the huge concert stage, with various radio stations hosting packed parties in the nearby villages each evening. On-track, there will be support races and legends events throughout the weekend in addition to the F1 madness, so it’s not hard to extract decent value for your entry fee – unless you booked that helicopter ride, of course…
July 7-9, Spielberg. projekt-spielberg.com