F1 2019 Game: Austrian Grand Prix Track Guide
The guide you need to master Spielberg’s mountainous track in F1 2019.
Spielberg may only be comprised of eight corners, but its simplicity is ironically what makes it such a challenge.
Mistakes are exacerbated here, as the gaps in qualifying are smaller here than anywhere else. A good setup and a precise lap is what’s required for a good lap here, as mistakes often cause penalties and invalidated laps.
The circuit’s layout is unchanged from the 2018 game and has remained the same since Hermann Tilke redesigned it ahead of 1997. Before then, it was a true monster of a circuit, the old Osterreichring was a real beast to master. However, the high-speed nature of the old circuit has remained, with momentum out of the corners being crucial to a good race.
Niki Lauda Kurve
The recently renamed “Lauda” is the first corner on the circuit and the first of two uphill 90 degree right-handers. Because of its steep incline on entry, you can brake late at around 75m and down into fourth gear, despite doing 200 mph (320 kph) on entry.
The straight before the turn is one of three DRS zones, but overtaking is difficult into here because of the fast final corner and relative shortness of the straight. The ideal run through the corner is to ride your front right wheel on the yellow section to the kerb. You can run wider and faster, but this risks using the run-off on corner exit, which doesn’t have the best grip.
READ MORE: How to reduce tyre wear
You’ll once again be travelling at 200 mph into this corner but you’ll have to brake at the 100m board, as this is a tighter corner than Turn 1. Mind the kink to the left on entry and stay as far to the left side as possible, it’s vital to get a good exit out of Turn 2. Go down to second gear and completely avoid the inside kerbing, as it will unsettle the car.
This corner follows another DRS straight, and this is a good overtaking opportunity, as Max Verstappen found out this year in the real life race, but this corner bites on exit, so be careful when making a dive-bomb. You also need a good exit, as the longest straight on the circuit follows this corner. Be wary on traction when exiting the corner too, there’s very little grip, even on the racing line.
Turn 3 is arguably the best overtaking opportunity on the circuit, as it’s located at the conclusion of three DRS zones and has a long braking zone. Brake from 200 mph for the third time, beginning at the 100m board down into third gear.
Unlike the previous corners, this isn’t a 90-degree right-hander, but rather a wide downhill hairpin. Avoid all the kerbs, as they’re harsh for this corner and will unsettle the car. Slow and steady through the corner is ironically the fastest way, being aggressive here is rewarded with grass and gravel on your tyres.
READ MORE: F1 2019 French Grand Prix Track Guide
The first high-speed corner on the track is Rauch and because of the low downforce you have to run to be quick around here, it’s understeer city. Stick to the right side of the track after Turn 3, it’s easy to get dragged towards the left where you’ll have a poor angle of attack.
Brake just after the 50m board down into sixth gear and crank the left lock on. You want to accelerate well before you actually can, you need to be patient before applying the throttle. You can only get on the power again until you’re almost completely round the corner, as going completely over the white line on exit will invalidate your lap.
The exit kerbs don’t have the best traction, but they’re a necessary evil if you want to have a good lap time.
READ MORE: F1 2019 setup guides
Wurth Kurve & Turn 6
Using some inside kerbing through Turn 5 is fine, as is making use of the inside kerbing of T6, but don’t put more than a wheel over either, as your lap will be invalidated.
READ MORE: F1 2019 Monaco Grand Prix Track Guide
Rindt & RB Mobile
The final two corners on the circuit are the perennial roller coaster rides you expect from the Red Bull Ring. Speed is the aim of the game here, as you’ll be hitting the apex of Rindt at 145 mph (233 kph) in sixth gear, after arriving into the penultimate corner at 200 mph. Cut over the red and white kerbs on the inside, but no more than a wheel, you want to avoid the grey inner kerbing.
Squirt the throttle before meeting the final corner and braking once more down to fifth gear and around 100 mph (160 kph). This is very tricky, as getting the ideal line is like threading the eye of a needle.
Like with Turn 1, you need to get your front right wheel over the red and white kerbing but avoid the yellow sausage kerb, as this will unsettle the car. Run your left front over the exit kerbing, but no more than that, a penalty for track extending will come your way if you do. As soon as the car is pointing the right way, hammer the throttle on again, traction isn’t a big issue out of this corner.
Be wary of the DRS too, the activation line is almost immediately after the apex of this corner.
READ MORE: F1 2019 Spanish Grand Prix Track Guide
A low downforce setup is needed for Austria, because of over half the circuit consisting of three DRS straights. Turn-in isn’t a big issue here, as most of the corners are low speed, so I went with 1/6 wings, to make sure that the rear end remained planted. Traction is key around this track but there isn’t a lot of grip, so on throttle differential needs to be more unlocked than normal at 70%. You can raise the off throttle diff to nearly 100%, though.
Tyre wear isn’t a big issue around this circuit, the 1-stop is usually achievable if you start on the mediums. Therefore, the camber and toe angles can be near the minimum values for more grip. The kerbs aren’t harsh round here but you’ll be using them a lot, so the suspension needs to be softer at about 3 on front and rear.
There aren’t many high speed direction changes here, so the anti-roll bar can be stiff at 11/8. To make up for the rear wing having a higher angle than you’d expect, the ride height is low at 4/4.
There are some big stops at the Red Bull Ring, but having very high pressure kills your momentum through the faster corners. I went with 83% pressure and 54% brake bias. The rear tyres take a beating on the heavy traction zones, so the pressures need to relatively low at 21.1psi for the rear and 23.4psi on the front.