1979 Austrian Grand Prix
- Sunday, August 12, 1979
- Grosser Preis von Osterreich
- F1 World Championship
Knittelfeld, August 12th
It is always a pleasure to return to the Osterreichring after following the Grand Prix scene through the streets of towns, round the confines of small autodromes and the flat open space of airfields, for it is a modern racing circuit that has been built from scratch and one in the right way. It is fast, undulating, challenging, spectacular, spacious, impressive, and it was built exactly ten years go. The first events were held in the late summer of 1969, and the first Grand Prix took place in 1970. In those short ten years it has become as established as the Nürburgring itself and has developed a similar character. It is the place for a Grand Prix, rather than a Formula One event, and the event is almost a week-long affair rather than a quick dash in, perform, and dash out again event, like some. If all Grand Prix events were like the Austrian one, on circuits like the Osterreichring, we would soon get bored. It is the variety in Grand Prix racing that is part of the attraction for those lucky enough to go to the most of them.
After seeing the various performances on the fast Silverstone circuit, where the advantage was to those with nicely balanced cars that were uncomplicated but efficient, it was pretty clear that the same advantage would apply in Austria. The main difference in handling is that the flat airfield circuit tends towards consistent handling characteristics, whereas the Austrian circuit with its fast uphill corners and even faster downhill ones, called for an overall good quality, for some uphill corners tend to make the front end go light, and others make cars phenomenal understeerers because all the weight is transferred to the front tyres as the corners drop away downhill.
Permanent road course
Nigel Mansell (Williams FW11B-Honda), 1m28.318, 150.493 mph, F1, 1987
First Race1969 Austrian Grand Prix