Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austria 2015

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

For a Formula 1 fan, every track is different, every race is special, and every Grand Prix is unique. Every time I go, I feel the thrill, the excitement of seeing those cars racing before my eyes, the sound of the engines, and the thought that it is one normal human being driving that machine at over 300km/h.

The Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austria 2015 was my number 5th of many more that will still come. I went with three German guys, one of them being my husband W, but it seemed to me that I was the most excited one, and by the end of the day I was certainly not disappointed.

The Austrian GP used to be part of the Formula 1 calendar in the 1970s and 1980s, back then the circuit’s name was Österreichring (Austria’s ring) built in 1969. After the last race in 1986, the circuit came back as A1 ring for more 7 years, and in 2004 it fell off the calendar again. 10 years later, the new circuit’s owner, Red Bull, revived the Grand Prix.

2015 was the second year of the GP in the new circuit now called Red Bull Ring, located in the Austrian small town of Spielberg, 360Km from Munich and 197Km from Vienna.

I tried to get tickets for last year’s GP without success, it sold out in less than 3 days, so I made sure to get this year’s ticket well in advance. I chose to stay at the general admission, and watched the race from where it’s marked below on the map:

The Racetrack

First Grand Prix: 1970

Number of laps: 71

Circuit length: 4.326Km

Race distance: 307.02Km

Tickets Sales:

What I thought about the circuit

Spielberg was one the most organised circuit I have been so far. Parking was easy, and it was very clean (different than Monza) as there were trashcans everywhere, and some people cleaning every now and then. The only problem that bothered a bit was finding where to stay.

The parking

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

It’s free! Until now it was the only circuit I have been to that doesn’t charge for parking, which by the way is not far from the track if you compare to other circuits. Plus, it is organised by the circuit’s staff.

Arriving early is always a great idea, less traffic and more options to park. As for leaving, no need to hurry, it’s better to wait most people leave, so there will be less craziness in the parking lot and less traffic on the roads.

The facilities

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

The toilets were clean and more than ok, I was actually impressed.

As for the food, of course it was a bit expensive (a hot dog cost €4,50 and a Red Bull €3,50) but that’s normal for a Formula 1 GP. The options were a bit limited but I thought that it was enough anyway; don’t expect anything more fancy than sausages and bread unless you are on the Paddock Club VIP area.

The general admission

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

I have to say that I am not a huge fan of staying at the general admission, mainly because depending on the place I can’t see a thing, as I’m short! But I have to admit that the view from this area in Spielberg was impressive. From where I was I could see more than half of the track, as this part of the circuit is located in a hill. The down side was that the Fan Zone was very far from this area.

If you are staying in the general admission my advice is simple: arrive early. The best view to the circuit is the first row of this place highlighted below on the map:

If you are not staying in the general admission, I highly recommend the Red Bull Grandstand:

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

The Red Bull Grand Stand seen from the general admission

Where to stay

I spent months trying to figure out where was the best place to stay near the track spending less than €200 per day. Since the track is around 4 hours away from Munich – not that far – it is still hard to go and come back every day (FRI-SUN). What it is most recommended is to stay in Graz, 74 Km from the track, from where there is a daily train provided to the F1 fans.

It is also possible to go camping near the track, it costs around €250 for 3 nights and for 3/4 people. I have seen great spots while I was there, and it was actually my favourite option. However, for personal reasons I was only able to go on Sunday for the race, so I went and came back from Munich on the same day (very tiring in case you are wondering).

Nearby hotels and guesthouses are very limited and expensive, so it is really up to how much you want to spend (even so, book early). But I would recommend either camping or staying in Graz.


Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

I found very nice that when buying your general admission ticket you receive a lanyard, which normally you need to pay for.

The ticket prices for the Austrian GP are great, probably one of the cheapest in the F1, together with the Spanish and Hungarian GPs.

It is very common to rain during the Austrian GP, lucky me only a few drops fell on Sunday! Check the weather and bring an umbrella!

Pre race

Previous to the race start, there was an air show organized by the circuit, which was amazing and jaw dropping. There was also an helicopter carrying the largest Austrian flag in the World.

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Another special moment pre race was the Legends Parade, in which former race drivers Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Riccardo Patrese, Gerhard Berger, Christian Danner, Pierluigi Martini, and Jean Alesi drove their former cars: McLaren MP4/2Bs, Brabham BT52, McLaren MP4/2Bs, Renault RS01, Ferrari F188, Zakspeed, Minardi, and non-turbo Sauber C14 respectively. It was a very special moment to see them drive their cars once again!

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Ricardo Patrese, Renault RS01

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Nelson Piquet, Brabham BT52

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Jean Alesi, Sauber C14

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Niki Lauda, McLaren MP4/2Bs

The race

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Right in the beginning of the race Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) crashed in front of where I was watching the race.

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Formula 1 Grand Prix Austria 2015, by Packing my Suitcase.

Winner: Nico Rosberg, Germany
2nd place: Lewis Hamilton, Great Britain
3rd place: Felipe Massa, Brazil

I was particularly happy about the 1rst and 3rd place. What a race!

Have you ever been to the Austrian GP?


If you have any questions or need any tips, let me know in the comments below, I will be happy to help.

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • What a fantastic, informative post. I just showed my husband and he is so impressed Allane. He’s a big F1 fan like you! Can’t believe you were so close to the track and saw Alonso and Raikkonen crash!

    • Ohhhh how cool that your husband is a F1 fan 😀 yaaaay!! I’m glad mine is too, so he is always excited to go with me to the races!!
      Yess, we were pretty close to the track, it was vey cool!! This circuit is one of the best one I have been to!

  • Places People Stories

    Wow, that sounds so much fun. I have never been to a Formula 1 race. But it looks amazing! You inspired me again! Now I want to go to one 😀

    • hahaha happy to have inspired you to go to a F1 GP 😀 I hope you do go, it is a wonderful experience. It’s nothing like on TV, it’s way better 😀
      I hope you go sometime and let me know what you thought!!

  • Kathleen (Kat)

    I can’t remember if you took photos of the track quite close in other F1 posts but the ones here are amazing! Plus you saw the crash…lucky you but not so lucky for the drivers 😉

    • Very good point made Kath!! I think this was the closest I got to the cars 😀 and probably also on my first GP, which was in Sao Paulo, though I don’t have much photos from this one so I still havent written about it 😀

      And yess, lucky me to see the crash, sad for the drivers 😀 but the good thing is that they were fine!

  • 😀 glad you liked it!! Thank you for the comment.

  • Yes hahaha I was very close!!
    Ohhh I need to go to Singapore!!

    By the way, when are you coming to Europe again? Send me an email if you need anything!! 😀

  • Nihar Pradhan

    Loved it Allane the way you have described and enjoyed the whole event. Yes, these are thrilling experience and if the arrangement are good, it adds up to the overall fun quotient. And top of it you had the extra flavor of the air show, just great going with so much to enjoy…I agree normally we don’t have sufficient options for food, but the experience compensates it and once we are out, we have bib grab…the pictures are wonderfully taken, you had the vantage point to play with the lens.

    I am sure you are having a great week…cheers!!!

    • Thank you Nihar!! I don’t know if you watch F1 once in a while, do you?
      I love it, since I was a child, so I always have lots of fun in the races, if I could I would go to all of them!! 😀

      My week is going great, hope yours too 😀

      • Nihar Pradhan

        It started couple of years back in a new track in India, I tried but couldn’t make it this time, looking forward to part of the next event. My friends went and they thoroughly enjoyed it and they have made wonderful arrangements and facility, and from food to parking everything is nicely taken care, and it is very close the capital and once can drive down and can be back after the race…

        Yes, I am enjoying my week, couple of things are very much on card…looking forward to.

        • Yesss I know!! Amazing, you are lucky to have it near your city!! I hope you can go next year and tell me all about it Nihar!! It’s great to know that your friends liked it, that’s a great sign!!

          By the way, I’m reading your book 😀 veery well written! I wish I could write like you! Have a great day!

          • Nihar Pradhan

            Yes, I will go next time and share my experience and I know it cannot as good as yours…but we have something interesting to debate…

            Oh! that’s great Allane, yeah would be keenly waiting to hear your views and reviews…I know you are busy travelling and managing so many things, finding time to read such books are not easy, I really appreciate your support and thanks so much for taking the pain to go through, I hope you will enjoy it and journey should be into a wonderland…
            take care and always have a safe travel.

          • Ohh I’m sure you will be able to share your experience even better, you are great with words!

            Yess, I am reading a little big everyday. I will let you know when I finish it 😀 of course, it’s a pleasure to read it!!

            Thank you so much dear friend! I wish you a lovely weekend ahead of you!

  • Yaaaaaayyy really??
    Which days are you going to be around in Paris and UK?
    I will be in Paris 1 one week from now 😀

  • Yess it was very tiring, the best to do is to sleep there… it’s too much for one day!

    Ohhh I can’t believe you never went to the F1 being so close 😀 ahaha crazy as I am I would go every year.
    But how awesome that you could hear the cars from your house! Unfortunately since 2013 the F1 engines aren’t that loud anymore… but they will probably change them again in 2 or 3 years I hope 😀
    You should go one day, it’s a great experience, very different than watching on tv 😀

  • OMG really??? I think I will be in London on the 7th, can you believe it?? One more reason to make this trip work 😀 it would be awesome to meet you there!!!
    There will be a travel conference in London on the first week of november, and I’m hoping to be there 😀

  • Mabel Kwong

    I didn’t know the carpark was in one big field like that! It looks sooo hard for the cars to get out, hahaha! If the car in front of you doesn’t move, then the rest can’t move…but you said it’s not a bit waiting time to exit?

    So happy you got to go to another F1. And you saw two superstars of driving though they crashed in front of you. But glad they are all okay. Great shots from the race, well captured 😀

    • hahaha yes, but they there is room on the sides, so you can still take your car even if the others are still there. The problem is only when everyone wants to leave, as there is traffic on the road ahead so moving is slow! 😀

      It was a great race, but probably the only one I am going this year 🙁 but I’m already happy about it!! There will be more next year 😀

      • Mabel Kwong

        Hahaha, squeeze on the sides then I think it will be a very slow move out of the carpark 😀 It looks like one way traffic!

        I am sure one day you will come to the F1 in Australia 😀

        • hahahahaha yesss!!

          Ohhhhh I hope so too!!! Then we will finally meet 😀 Wouldn’t that be awesome?

  • Ohh really? That’s awesome!!!
    I always wanted to go to a NASCAR race!!
    Well, Formula 1 is awesome, so if you liked NASCAR I’m sure you will enjoy Formula 1 as much, if not more 😀

  • Yesss, but if I go I will stay a few more day after the conference to travel around or to enjoy London 😀 so we might meet up!!
    The conference is called World Travel Market 😀 it will be between November 2nd and 5th 😀

  • Gin

    I’m so not into it, but I’m happy that you managed to get there 🙂

  • Awwwnn that would be awesome!! Yes, if everything works out for my trip, the 8th would be awesome!!
    But I will let you know if it will work out 😀