Mark Webber believes the return of the Austrian Grand Prix will prove the value of Formula 1 revisiting European tracks with established F1 tradition.
The vast majority of additions to the F1 schedule in recent years have been in entirely new territories for the championship, such as India and Korea, or brand-new circuits in countries already familiar with F1, such as Austin in America and Valencia in Spain.
The Red Bull-owned Spielberg track hosted F1 in its original, super-fast, Osterreichring layout from 1970-’87. A redeveloped version known as the A1-Ring then brought the Austrian GP back from 1997-2003.
“I think it’s absolutely brilliant and I was really happy to see F1 is going back to a super-traditional venue,” said Webber. “There have been so many grands prix there in the past. We’ve lost a lot of that with the grands prix we have gone to in the last six or seven years, so it’s great to return to a venue with so much feel-good factor, and such a great location tucked into the mountains.”
He believes Austria will be more successful than many of the all-new grands prix of recent seasons.
“The timing is right for them to have a grand prix. Along with America, it’s one of our best additions we’ve had in the last few years,” Webber said. “Obviously there have been some that haven’t been super-strong, let’s say, but this one is. It will work great.
“And for Austria, it’s brilliant medicine for the country. It’s not easy in Europe now.”