1978 Austrian Grand Prix
- Sunday, August 13, 1978
- Grosser Preis von Osterreich
- F1 World Championship
Knittelfeld, August 13th
It never ceases to amaze that the Grand Prix at the Osterreichring has become so established in such a relatively short space of time, the first GP being held in 1970. Apart from a healthy enthusiasm among the organisers and public alike, the whole concept of the Osterreichring Was right from the word go, when its form was laid out on the mountainous hillside of the Zeltweg-Knittelfeld valley. Even people who enjoy the street racing and glamour of Monte Carlo or long Reach have to admit to the charm and pleasant atmosphere that surrounds the Austrian circuit, with its Nürburgring character and countryside. In no way could you describe the Österreichring as an autodrome.
On the Thursday afternoon before this year’s Grand Prix all seemed settled in the Paddock; all the team transporters were parked and unloaded, the tyre companies were in full swing mounting tyres, the hospitality buses and coaches were ready to open next morning and there were 31 drivers ready to contest the 26 positions on the starting grid. There was to be no pre-practice sort out of the “rabbits”, all were welcome for the Austrian curcuit was considered big enough to take everyone. Then, at 5 p.m. on Thursday it was announced that Ertl, Rebaque, Lunger, Arnoux, Rosberg, Stommelen and Merzario had to present themselves at 8 a.m. on Friday morning, ready to do three-quarters of an hour practice, from which the fastest seven out of the eight would be permitted to take part in the official practice due to start at 10 a.m. All that effort and activity to eliminate one driver seemed to be very pointless, they might just as well have drawn lots.
Permanent road course
Nigel Mansell (Williams FW11B-Honda), 1m28.318, 150.493 mph, F1, 1987
First Race1969 Austrian Grand Prix