F1 could return to Austria UPDATE
(GMM) Dietrich Mateschitz has repeated his recent claim that formula one's return to Austria in the near future is a "more than minor" chance.
The Red Bull mogul was speaking as the former grand prix venue at Zeltweg, previously called A1-Ring but now re-christened the Red Bull Ring, is ready to re-open.
Mateschitz has rebuilt the facility, having been demolished following its last F1 event in 2003, at the cost of a reportedly nine-figure euro sum.
It has obtained F1 homologation status, moving the likes of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel to admit they would like to see the Red Bull Ring added to the calendar.
Bernie Ecclestone said in Turkey that a return to Austria is "possible".
But Austrian billionaire Mateschitz told Kleine Zeitung: "If you look at the new F1 circuits, the ones that came recently and the ones that are coming, one has to say the probability of formula one returning to Spielberg is more than minor."
Triple world champion and Austrian Lauda agrees that the chances are small, but he said: "There are several obstacles to overcome, but, firstly, no one knows what Mr. Mateschitz is planning."
05/09/11 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has indicated he would be happy for formula one to return to Austria.
Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz has rebuilt the A1-Ring - now known as the Red Bull Ring - at Zeltweg and Michael Schumacher said in Turkey he sees "no reason" why the Austrian grand prix should not return to the venue.
Billionaire Mateschitz himself rates the chances of a F1 contract at "more than minor", but the new circuit has received formula one-standard homologation.
The new circuit, with essentially the same layout as hosted the last grand prix there in 2003, is set to re-open this week and F1 chief executive Ecclestone - the architect of the annual race calendar - said it is good news.
"It is good that the circuit is ready to go again," the 80-year-old Briton is quoted by APA news agency.
"We have always gone down there very happily. We have always loved Austria," added Ecclestone.
As for whether formula one will return to the country, he answered: "Everything is possible."
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali at the weekend said one of the changes F1 teams want for the next Concorde Agreement is "the return of some European circuits".