The Red Bull Ring is set for a major extension in the near future RCI can reveal. For the first time since the venue reopened as the A1 Ring in 1996 the 4.326km track has been resurfaced. As part of that work the link roads between Castol corner, Remus corner and the abandoned western section of the old Osterrichring have been re-opened and redesigned with new chicanes added and the spectator banking at Castrol corner partially removed.
Significant construction work is also being conducted on the abandoned section of track between Hella Licht through to Tiroch Kurve. The new corners (seen above) have been built to a high standard but Projekt Spielberg staff are reluctant to discuss much about the plans, but deny there are any immediate plans to host racing on a new extended course measuring between 5.5km – 6km. It is believed that there are ongoing issues over getting planning consent to re-open the full size track for racing, but it could be used for special events, show runs and industry testing, and if planning consent is given a return to racing use.
(The new first chicane / Copyright Collins-RCI)
When Red Bull acquired the circuit in 2004 the plan was always to reopen the western section with a new section of track between the existing uphill stretch between Castrol and Remus, and the old western loop bypassing the Hella Licht area altogether. This would have required major earthworks to have been constructed and was unable to get planning consent.
The current work seems to be less drastic and is perhaps more likely to get consent. For now though there are no signs of the Western section being fully reopened and the entire Hella Licht section (now used as an overspill paddock) would still need to be resurfaced.