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Marko: Red Bull Ring open to hosting 2013 Grand Prix

NEWS STORY
09/12/2012

Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko has said that the company's race track, the Red Bull ring, is open to the possibility of hosting a round of the 2013 Formula One World Championship.

When the World Motor sport Council revealed that a slot had been retained for an unspecified European race on its revised 2013 calendar, it was widely assumed that the honour would fall to Turkey. This being a combination of the fact that the new promoter at the track had revealed he was in talks with Bernie Ecclestone and the fact that the WMSC meeting and the FIA Awards Gala were both being held in Istanbul.

However, with the Turkish government insisting that it will not be assisting in the funding of a race at the Istanbul Park, attention has shift to other European venues.

Speaking to Salzburger Nachrichten, Marko admits that the company is open to the idea of hosting a Grand Prix next year at the circuit it bought in 2008 and which it has had around £60m worth of work carried out on.

"We have made the FIA aware that the Red Bull Ring has a fully updated Formula 1 licence," he said.

However, there remain a number of obstacles, the first being the regional (Styrian) government's crowd cap of 40,000, not to mention the lack of hotels. In terms of the circuit, which has hosted DTM, F2 and historic F1 events since its reconstruction, a number of vital facilities are still missing, not least a media facility.

Pointing out that the circuit, which as the Osterreichring and A1-Ring hosted 25 Grand Prix between 1970 and 2003, is just "50 miles from Graz" and its many hotels, and had "managed in the 1970s and 1980s", Marko suggested that additional funding could come from the Styrian government.

While initially claiming that the circuit would never be used for F1 again, only DTM, Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, a close friend of Bernie Ecclestone and former FIA president Max Mosley, has since warmed to the idea, and the thought of his Red Bull cars winning at the Red Bull Ring must seem the ultimate F1 fantasy.

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