1964 Austrian Grand Prix
- Sunday, August 23, 1964
- Grosser Preis von Osterreich
- F1 World Championship
For the first time, Austria had an event ranking as a round in the World Championships and it was held on the military air field at Zeltweg, scene of a Formula One race last year, three Formula Two events before that, in 1959, ’60 and ’61, and two sports-car events in 1957 and 1958, so that in eight short years the local Club, supported by the National Automobile Club, have risen from nothing to a full-blooded Grand Prix. The enthusiasm and organisation have progressed accordingly, but the circuit, being a temporary one laid out on the runway and perimeter track of the airfield, has progressed hardly at all, in fact, the circuit as such has deteriorated into rough and bumpy concrete.
Zeltweg is a small village almost in the middle of Austria and it was a long trek for the racing transporters coming from England, and even longer for those coming from the Mediterranean Grand Prix at Enna, in Sicily, the week before. Most of the drivers, and other people involved in a Grand Prix, flew to Austria, and used hire cars, but quite a few people drove there, including Surtees who came from Modena in his 330GT Ferrari, while the ever resourceful Brabham arrived in his private aeroplane.
As in previous years, the paddock was in a vast hangar, which was fine until someone started a racing engine, and the pits were in the middle of the runway, between the up leg of the course and the down leg, so that before practice could begin on Friday afternoon there was a minor Grand Prix for transporters and private cars, from the paddock to the pits, via the circuit. With a lap length of only 3.2 kilometres, and a lap time of around 1min 10sec, the two hours’ practice provided on the first-afternoon was more than ample for drivers to find their way round, and for cars to be adjusted to the conditions.