Round 8 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Formula 1 Grosser Preis von Österreich 2014, marks the return of the sport to Europe for the run of six rounds before the final long haul phase of the season;
This event also marks the return of Formula 1 to Spielberg, where a grand prix was last held more than a decade ago, back in 2003. Few of the current F1 drivers had the pleasure of racing at this track 11 years ago and with little in the way of relevant track information, this race is as good as ‘new’ to the calendar.
John Booth, Team Principal: “We’re very excited to begin the next European phase of the season in Austria, which is like a brand new Formula 1 race for the majority of our team yet, at the same time, is a venue with a fascinating history. A few of our number have experienced the circuit previously, but to all intents and purposes the sport has had to begin its approach to this grand prix with a clean sheet of paper. As is the case up and down the field, we will be reliant upon the simulation work we have conducted in recent weeks, together with the proven ability of our young engineers and drivers to read and adapt to the demands of a new circuit once running is underway. Our package has shown great promise during the course of the last few race weekends and it goes without saying that the team will be focusing its efforts on extracting even more of that potential and hopefully underlining our recent trend [of] keeping the midfield in our sights.”
Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari Engine & Electronics Deputy Director: “After the setback in Canada there is a great desire to make the most of every opportunity at the next event in Austria. Eleven years have passed since the last time this circuit hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix. The main characteristics of the track have remained unchanged and therefore it continues as one of the circuits where the engine runs at maximum rpm for a high percentage of the lap. At the time of naturally aspirated engines, the altitude – the circuit is over 600 metres above sea level – made life easier from a reliability point of view, but now with the use of the turbocharger this advantage is cancelled and we can expect a similar challenge to that posed by the Montreal circuit. We worked a lot on the analysis of the problems we experienced. We believe that we have identified the causes and have put in place the necessary remedial actions. The Free Practice sessions will be important to develop all the settings of the power unit in order to obtain the best performance, with a focus on how to use the MGU-K.”
Max Chilton, Driver No. 4: “I’m really looking forward to my first Austrian Grand Prix and my first experience of Spielberg. So far this season it has been a case of consolidating my experience of tracks I raced at for the first time last year in my debut season, so it’s nice to shake it up a bit with an unknown quantity and level the playing field a bit. From our simulations the track looks fun and fast, so I’m sure I will enjoy getting to grips with it. The car is performing well at the moment so we’ll be looking to make the most of that and ensure a positive weekend for the team.”
Jules Bianchi, Driver No. 17: “I always enjoy the challenge of a new circuit. It isn’t new for everyone of course, but I think the starting point will be pretty similar for all of the teams as it’s been such a long time since F1 raced there. Adapting to a new circuit is one of my favourite challenges as a driver, both in terms of working with my engineers to tailor the car to the track and also putting to the test my own ability to get to grips with a new layout and characteristics. I really enjoy this. We’ve done some simulation work and the track looks really good; another interesting challenge for us. I hope we can continue the strong direction we have seen at recent events and get a nice result for the Team.”