Formula 1’s premium mountain vista looks simple, but a wheel wrong can cost you everything.
The Red Bull Ring is the shortest lap on the Formula 1 calendar in terms of lap time. However, this makes mistakes even more costly, especially in qualifying.
This is our guide to optimising your lap around the beautiful mountainous Austrian circuit in F1 2020!
Turn 1 (Lauda Kurve)
The first two corners in Austria are both right angled bends but their uphill nature makes them a real handful. As it’s at the end of a DRS straight, Turn 1 is an overtaking spot, but you’re usually best waiting until Turn 2.
You’ll be arriving into the Lauda Kurve at 200 mph (320 kph) and need to brake down to 4th gear beginning at the 100m board. Clip the inside kerb and avoid the run-off on the outside.
It’s all too easy to run wide on exit, especially if your front tyres are struggling. If you do, it won’t cost you much time, but you will get a track extension penalty if you do it regularly.
Turn 2 (Remus)
Turn 2 is a much better overtaking opportunity than T1, as the entry is very wide and there are two fast lines through the corner. The braking zone is on a steep uphill climb, so you can brake very late when passing.
Brake down into 2nd gear beginning at the 100m board. Clump over the inside kerb to avoid using the run-off area on exit, it’s like an ice rink out there.
Be careful when re-applying the power on exit, there isn’t usually much traction. You need to nail this as well, as the third and final DRS zone is the best to pass on the circuit.
Turn 3 (Schlossgold)
Turn 3 is the final of the trio of right-handers that open the lap. Schlossgold is the best overtaking spot on track, as it follows three DRS zones and has the longest braking zone.
Brake just before the 100m board down into 2nd gear and use a little of the inside kerb on entry. This does destabilise the car a little, but it stops you running wide and getting beached in the gravel.
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Traction is always very good out here, so hammed the accelerator down on exit for the run towards Turn 4.
Turn 4 (Rauch)
Your line through Turn 4 is crucial, as positioning the car wrongly usually ends with you in the gravel. You can pass into here, but is very difficult, as the inside line is much slower thanks to the tighter radius you take.
Brake just after the 50m board down into 5th gear. You need at 75m down to 2nd gear. Avoid all of the kerbs, especially those on the inside, as you’ll unsettle the car on corner exit.
Turns 5 & 6 (Wurth Kurve)
Turns 5 & 6 are another pair of corners where the line is critical. You can lose a lot of time through the Wurth Kurve without realising it.
You need to brake down to fifth gear beginning at the point where the escape road on the right goes out of view.
You need to get as close to the inside kerb as you can without touching it and be on the throttle when you feel the front tyres bite. Turn 6 is an easy-flat, but don’t run too far wide, as the gravel will gobble you up.
Turns 7 & 8 (Rindt)
Turns 7 and 8 round off the lap in Austria and they’re thrilling because of their high-speed nature. You can pass into Rindt, but you have to be fully alongside.
You should also note that the AI are very quick out of Turns 5 and 6 and will try a move on you into Rindt. Be aware that the pit entry is on the right side of the track here too, so the AI slow down abruptly into T7.
You’ll be almost going at 200 mph (320 kph) into this corner but the braking zone begins just after the 50m board. Brake into 6th gear go well wide of the inside kerbing, the wider you go here, the faster you’ll go.
Get back on the power quickly and straddle you left wheels over the outside kerbing. No more than that though, as you’ll be slower and pick up a penalty.
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Turn 8 is the toughest to avoid going too wide on the track, you always feel as though you can brake later than you actually can do here.
Picking a braking spot is hard, it’s usually best to get on the anchors at the point where the pit-lane disappears from view on the right. Down into 4th gear for this corner, clip the inside kerb and use some on exit too.
Don’t go too wide though, or you’ll have your current and next invalidated in time trial and qualifying.