Energy drinks company Red Bull has inked a deal with Formula One organizers to host a race in Austria next year. The race will be held at the former A1-Ring in Spielberg, which held the last Austrian Grand Prix back in 2003 and is now known as the Red Bull Ring.
The confirmation was made in a statement released by Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
“Dietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone have reached an agreement to the effect that Formula One will return to Styria next year," the statement read. Styria is the Austrian state where the Red Bull Ring is located.
The calendar for the 2014 F1 season is yet to be finalized but next year’s Austrian Grand Prix has already been penciled in for the date of July 6. Unless a race from the current calendar is dropped, it means the next season will have 20 races in total, which is something Ecclestone has hinted at in the past.
Unfortunately, it puts into doubt the chances of the U.S. getting a second race. Another new race next year will be the Russian Grand Prix, which will take place at Sochi Olympic Park Circuit and may end up replacing the Korean Grand Prix.
The timing of the latest announcement coincides with Ecclestone’s recent indictment for bribery of a German banker in 2005 over the sale of shares in F1 to CVC Capital Partners. About a year ago, Ecclestone famously announced that he wanted to see an F1 race held in London just as it became aware that he was being investigated over the bribery scandal. At least this time around, it looks like old Bernie is serious about the Austrian race.