The origins of the Austrian Grand Prix began with a group of local motor racing enthusiasts in the 1950s, who created a circuit in the town of Zeltweg. Its first race was held in 1958, with non-championship Formula One events following in 1961 and 1963. Zeltweg staged a World Championship race in 1964, but remained on the calendar for just that single year.
However, the growing success of local hero Jochen Rindt and the resultant rise of interest in the sport within Austria led to funding being made available for a purpose-built circuit. Thus the Österreichring was born, hosting its first Formula One race in 1970. It was one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and a true test of man and machine.
But after numerous start-line accidents on the narrow pit straight, arguments with local farmers over car parking and a growing feeling that the circuit was unsafe, it was eventually removed from the calendar in 1987.
The track gradually fell into disrepair until Austrian telecoms company A1 provided the funds to redevelop the venue, bringing Formula One racing back to Austria in 1997. It would continue to host Grands Prix for the next six years, before again being dropped from the calendar after the 2003 event. 2014 marked the first Austrian Grand Prix for 11 years and was spectacularly well attended by fans from across Europe.