2017 May 30

The perfect Formula-1-lap at the Red Bull Ring

Racing around the Red Bull Ring is a real challenge: 4.318 kilometers of banked corners, uphill straights and deep gravel traps. What’s the best way to get around those 10 corners?

CORNER 1: Brake in the right place and get the best exit

The wide braking zones at the Red Bull Ring are perfect for awesome overtaking manoeuvres and nowhere more so than the OMV MaxxMotion corner where the best braking point is as you reach the 250m marker. As you head uphill, you can use the slope to reduce your speed. Brake too late and you’ll overshoot, brake too soon and you’ll be passed by your rivals, but if you get it right, you can drop into third gear and accelerate on the uphill straight.

CORNERS 2 & 3: High revs, high speeds

Turn 2 may look innocuous but in a Formula 1 car, you take it flat out in 8th gear, topping speeds of over 320 km/h as you climb the hill to Remus Corner, which is the slowest on the whole track. To get through it, you have to get hard on the brakes to slow to 60 km/h. As the revs drop in second gear, you need to get the right line through Remus so that you hit the Schönberg straight cleanly. It’s the fastest part of the track where you accelerate to about 330 km/h as you pass through two DRS zones.

CORNERS 4+5: Right and right again

This is the tricky part… it’s downhill all the way to Rauch corner. It’s easy to lose the rear end of the car here because you’re constantly having to adjust the brake pressure. You take the corner in second gear at about 100 km/h, get back on the power, short shifting to seventh as you accelerate to about 270 km/h. As you hit the apex of Turn 5, you want to be setting up your line for the next double left-hander.

CORNERS 6 & 7: First on the left

The tyres on the left of the car haven’t been working nearly as hard as the right one, which means they might be very cold on the edge. The banking at Pirelli corner means that as you enter, you can’t see the exit – all you know is that somewhere just behind it is a gravel trap waiting to bring an end to your fun. But there’s no time to think about it, you just have to touch the accelerator and aim blindly for what you hope is the apex of turn 7.

CORNER 8: Acceleration against the kerb

Accelerate from 190 to 260 km/h as you head to the Voest Alpine corner. The way to master Turn 8 is to keep on the racing line and not drift to the outside at the exit where you can easily run off track and bounce over the kerbs.

CORNER 9 & 10: Last chance for victory

There’s a short straight before you need to get on the brakes for T9, Rindt, which is a true test of confidence. You need to be careful not to lose the back end as you brake before Rindt which is taken blindly in fifth gear at around 200 km/h. You then head downhill to the Red Bull Mobile corner and onto the 626-meter finish straight and the second DRS zone. This is one of the best overtaking spots on the track. You take it with the pedal flat to the floor as you power past the cheering fans on the main grandstand thrilling them with raw engine noise! This is the place that races can be lost and won.

That was one perfect lap of the Red Bull Ring. The fastest time here was set by Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1:06,228 in Q2 in the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix. The official lap record still is held be Michael Schumacher from the 2003 Grand Prix in 1:08,337 Minutes.

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17. October 2017
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