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GP Week : Issue 187
F1 >>> nEWs Austria is all but certain to return to the ever-expanding Formula One calendar in 2014, eleven years after it last hosted a grand prix. Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz issued a short statement to Austrian journalists last week confirming a deal had been agreed with Formula One’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone for the race to be held at what used to be called the A1 Ring and is now known as the Red Bull Ring. “D ietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone have reached agreement to the effect that Formula One will come back to Styria next year,” Red Bull said in a statement. “On condition of approval by the required authorities, July 6, 2014 is expected to be the date.” The Austrian Grand Prix was run on the A1 Ring, itself a shortened track constructed on the site of the far more daunting Osterreichring, from 1997 to 2003. The circuit was in the middle of being revamped, but the planned facelift was halted mid-way when construction work stopped and rendered the track unusable. It was eventually bought by Mateschitz, the man behind the energy drinks company’s Formula One push, and reopened as the Red Bull Ring in 2011. The circuit currently plays host to rounds of German touring car championship DTM. Speculation that Formula One could return to the Styrian mountains had been doing the rounds since last year, when it was named as a possible candidate to fill in for the delayed New Jersey race this year. But an agreement could not be reached – with any circuit – and the FIA published a 19-race calendar for 2013. With New Jersey and Russia set to join the calendar next year, the return of the Austrian Grand Prix would take the total number of races to 22. Not only are teams reluctant for there to be more than 20 races in a year, but Bernie Ecclestone has called for a maximum of 20 grands prix, meaning at least two rounds are likely to be dropped. Despite the provisional 6 July date given to the Austrian race, the event will only formally join the calendar following formal ratification by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council. F1 ends Austrian race drought: "We'll be back ..." sAFeisFast.com, the Road Racing Drivers Club’s website that helps train young up and coming talent, now features tutorial videos with captions in over 64 of the world’s most common languages in an attempt to reach out to more young drivers worldwide. The videos on the site, supported by the FIA Institute and Motor Sport Safety Development Fund, cover various topic offering tutorials on safety, fitness, mental aptitude and race craft and also help train drivers on how they carry themselves off track with tutorials on sponsorship and marketing. Several top drivers including Formula One, Indy 500 and Le Mans champions have contributed to the videos which have so far attracted over 70,000 viewers from 142 countries. “T his is exactly the type of programme we are proud of supporting through the Institute and the Fund,” FIA Institute president Gerard Saillant said in a statement. “W hat started as a U.S . - focused driver development tool has become a worldwide resource that all young drivers can benefit from in the right way, with safety and responsibility as a focus.” Additionally, in its attempt to allow drivers from different countries with diverse backgrounds to access content, all text on the site, including the ‘Ask A Pro’ section – which features question-and-answer sessions with champion drivers and racing experts like Jenson Button, Dario Franchitti, Ben Edwards and Bob Varsha – will be available in certain languages. “English is widely regarded as the 'universal language' of auto racing, but making these videos available in so many languages will broaden its appeal and allow non-English speakers an opportunity to take advantage of this valuable resource," Road Racing Drivers Club president Bobby Rahal said. The Road Racing Drivers Club, founded in 1952, counts among its members many top racing drivers from America and Europe including Formula One world champions, Indy 500 winners, sportscar champions and top American amateur road racers. MORE SPEED, LESS HASTE CLICK HeRe to visit the sAFeisFast.com site 11 GPWEEK.com // 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: