Red Bull Ring, Austria

Set in the idyllic Styrian mountains, there are few better places to enjoy watching an F1 race than the picturesque Red Bull Ring. The Austrian Grand Prix has taken place there since 1970, when the high speed track was known as the Osterreichring.

In 1995 it was redesigned to a shorter, more modern race track by Hermann Tilke. After 2003 the Austrian GP fell off the racing calendar but returned in 2014 and has rarely produced a boring race since. The 4.318km circuit is small but thanks to its fast layout and long straights provides plenty of action. With 71 laps you will get plenty of opportunities to see the drivers speed by.

Austria is a short lap, but a very busy one. The race is intense and feels high paced from start to finish so you have to concentrate hard.”

Daniel Ricciardo – F1 Driver

The ring is near the town of Spielberg, 600m above sea level; a spectacular back drop for anyone who wants to visit the race. Surrounded by forest, it isn’t the easiest to get to however.

You will likely fly to Vienna or Graz and while there are some trains, hiring a car is the most convenient way to get about. There are plenty of attractions in Graz, not least the museum dedicated to the city’s favourite son: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Due to the rural location, most fans camp when coming to view the Austrian Grand Prix.There are six standard campsites at the Red Bull Ring: Blue, Red, Yellow, Purple, Orange and Pink. For ease, locations in relation to each stand are listed below.

Toilet and shower facilities are available at every campsite, and electricity connections are also included in the price of the pitch. Note that while BBQs are permitted on the campsites, electric cooking equipment is not, nor are open fires.

There are four grand stand areas where you can watch: the covered grand stand at the start, the Steirmark, located at the first corner, the Red Bull grand stand at the long straight and the grand stand north. There is also a large grass bank area for general admission tickets.

Viewing Options

Start-finish Grandstand A-K

The main Grandstand basically runs the entire length of the starting straight. Fully rebuilt ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix returning to the calendar in 2014, its main attraction is the ‘Voestalpine Wing’ media centre above the stand, shaped like the rear wing of an F1 car. As well as looking stunning, this stand provides helpful shade from the hot alpine sun.

In general, the main grandstand is a great viewing point to take in the pre-race atmosphere, pitstops, one of three DRS zones on the circuit and of course the post-race podium celebrations. If you want to see plenty of pit stop action then look no further, however it is worth bearing in mind that the start/finish straight is also viewable from the Steirmark Stand and even parts of the Red Bull stand so if you want to get an overview of the full circuit if may be worth considering sitting elsewhere. 

If you sit in blocks A-K you will have a great view of the pre-race routines of the drivers. If in A you will see the back row of the grid looking and then looking left you will see up to the front row. Stand K aligns with the pole position drivers and you will have a great view of the race start and fight for position into the opening corner.

If you are in blocks A – D you can see the cars emerge from turn 9, into the third and last DRS zone before making the final turn of the circuit and speeding up the finishing straight. 

There are TV screens facing blocks H and K; you will be able to see these comfortably anywhere between G and K. For blocks A through F you will probably have to crane your neck looking left to see the action from the other end of the track.

However, this isn’t a huge problem as the compact nature of the Red Bull Ring means you can see other parts of the track from your seat, though as mentioned above, there are perhaps better viewpoints to get an overall perspective of the race.

Access is close to the entrance gate, though the F1 Fanzone, where the best amenities are, is a ten minute walk away. The red, yellow and purple campsites are located behind the main Grandstand, about a five minute walk away. Choose one of these if you have a seat in the main stand or Steirmark. If you have a seat in block A-D of the main stand you should also consider the purple campsite, located behind turns 9 and 10 (about a ten minute walk away).

Start-finish Grandstand L – Q

An extension of the main grandstand, this provides an excellent viewpoint for the start of the race and as it is covered, provides protection from the elements. Built in 2014, this is a modern stand, and you will have the same view as the journalists in the media centre above. For blocks L-Q the drivers will be to your right and you will have a better view of the opening corner than blocks A-K. Although you will not be as close as the other part of the stand, you will be able to observe the pre-race routines and see the podium ceremony.

L – N will have great views of a giant TV on the opposite side of the track, for O – Q you will have to look to the right to see the TV. The beauty of this circuit is in its undulating nature however, so from here you will be able to see other parts of the circuit, not least the straight after turn 1 and with the help of some binoculars, corners 2 and 3 up ahead.

Access is close to the entrance gate, though the F1 Fanzone, where the best amenities are, is a ten minute walk away. The red, yellow and purple campsites are located behind the main Grandstand, about a five minute walk away.

Steirmark (South-West) Grandstand

The Steirmark (formerly known as the South West stand) is positioned adjacent to turn 1, now known as the Niki Lauda turn after the Austrian great who won three World Championships between 1975 and 1984. You will have a great position to see the drivers jostle for position at the first corner.

There is a large run off area here so while the track may seem quite far away, it’s a great place to see cars recover if they get into a bit of bother on the first corner. The Steirmark is the best place in the track to see cars emerge from the pits; a superb vantage point in the event of any under or over cut manoeuvres. 

From here you will also have an excellent view of the high speed run into corner 2 further up the track and if you are lucky also corner 3 in the distance. There is also a handily placed TV directly opposite the stand on the other side of the corner.

This stand is uncovered so you will be unprotected against the elements. It’s a 5 minute walk from the entrance to quite easy to get to and, as with the main Grandstand, about a ten minute walk from the Fanzone. If you don’t want to miss too much of the action during the race not to worry, there is a dedicated catering area behind the stand.

Access is close to the entrance gate, though the F1 Fanzone, where the best amenities are, is a ten minute walk away. The closest campsites are the red, yellow and purple zones, located behind the main Grandstand.

Red Bull Grandstand

The largest Grandstand at the Red Bull Ring, it begins at the exit of turn 1 and continues along the straight to corner 2. Most seats here have a good panoramic view of the circuit, especially given the height of the double tiered stands so it should come as no surprise that this is the most popular stand at the circuit. The stands are lettered A-P with A and B being closest to the first turn and O and P further up towards turn 2.

The views from this stand are good no matter where you sit. You will not only be able to see the cars come out of turn one and into the high speed turn two up to your left, but also across to the opposite ‘Mitte’  (middle) part of the track where the cars will reappear for turns 6 and 7. There are few spots in Formula 1 worldwide where you can see more action from a single stand, though if you do miss anything there are TV screens at either end of the grandstand.

Having said that, if you have the choice of seats you will probably not get a better all-round experience than block A. As well as the hard fought turn into turn 1 and the high speed turn 2, you will have a great view down the starting straight. The further you move up from A the less you will see of the opening grid so that it certainly something to consider. Blocks F-K are in the mid-point of the stand, so the corners are more distanced. This is probably the least attractive section of the Red Bull Stand. Sections L-P are in the lower price bracket but definitely worth considering due to the view of the infield section on the opposite side of the track.

Again, this stand is uncovered but a big advantage is that it is close to the Fanzone if you need to refresh with some Apfelstrudel or Schnitzel. The blue campsite is located behind the Red Bull stand, about a ten minute walk away.

North Grandstand

Located at the top of a hill, the covered North Stand is another excellent viewing point where you can see the cars come out of turn 3, just after the second of three DRS zones and into the speed trap at turn 4, also known as the ‘Rauch’ turn. The tranquil Styrian scenery is juxtaposed by the sight of cars racing up the straight into one of the key over-taking opportunities on the track, so you are guaranteed to see some action. These manoeuvres don’t always go as planned however, as in 2020 when Alex Albon came got into bother trying to pass Lewis Hamilton.

The nearest campsite for this part of the circuit is pink, about a 15 minute walk away. There are two access gates at this end of the circuit so don’t come in the gate at the main grandstand. The downside of this stand is that you will have a bit of a walk to get to the Fanzone, near the Red Bull Stand.

General Admission

Although it doesn’t have the guaranteed comfort of a seat in a stand , the General Admission viewing area is also worth considering at the Austrian Grand Prix. This long grass bank between turns 3 and 4 offers a more relaxed approach to viewing the race, though it may not feel like it as this is where the cars reach top speed on the track. You can also see the exit from turn 3 and race for position at turn 4, the second of three DRS zones and the fastest part of the circuit, a real speed trap so watch out in case any of the drivers brake too late into the turn.

If you are looking a bargain price option then this is definitely worth considering, just remember to come prepared for whatever the weather throws at you.

A big plus is that it is convenient for getting to the Fanzone behind the Red Bull stand. Access through two gates at the back of the circuit, not the gates for the main grandstand.

The best grandstand at the Austrian F1 Grand Prix

Best grandstand Austria F1

One of the best grandstands is the appropriately named Red Bull Grandstand which stretches from turn one up the hill toward turns 3 and 3. What makes this grandstand so good is the view across much of the circuit, from the main straight all the way to turns 6, 7 and 8 in the distance.