Length: 4.326 km
F3 lap record: 1m26.303s (Raffaele Marciello, 2012)
Circuit map: click here
Geographic position: click here
Fast, flowing, picturesque - Austria's Red Bull Ring is a venue much loved by the European motorsport fraternity. Set in the scenic Alpine landscape of the Styrian mountains, the former Grand Prix circuit hosts round five of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this weekend, as Felix Rosenqvist returns to the scene of his maiden top-level F3 pole position - but also to one deeply linked with heartbreak and despair.
Having raced at the Red Bull Ring twice in European Formula 3 - once in 2011 and once in 2012 - the Mücke Motorsport man has always been a regular feature at the top of the timesheets throughout practice and qualifying; only to see his strong pace come to nothing in an array of penalties, incidents and accidents. Nowhere else has Felix been as brutally jinxed by the grudges of Lady Luck as at the Spielberg venue - perhaps best demonstrated by the drive-through penalty that forced him to surrender an ever-growing lead in the final race of last year. Now, however - sitting second in the overall standings and eager to close the gap on Ferrari Driver Academy protégé Raffaele Marciello - he is back to put the record straight...
Flashback: the previous round
Video: Felix runs down Brands Hatch weekend
Press Release: Felix bags Brands Hatch podium
Even back in its first days of existence as the Österreichring more than 40 years ago - at a time when safety standards were modest to say the least - the since rechristened Red Bull Ring was considered a ferociously fast circuit. Despite being shortened on safety grounds ahead of Formula 1's return to the track following a ten-year absence in 1997, the venue has always been known for its high-speed nature and long straights, punctuated by 90-degree corners and sharp hairpins.
Top speed is a vital performance differentiator at the Red Bull Ring - especially in race trim to either execute or defend from overtaking attempts - but it's important not to forget about the twisting final sector of the lap which requires a completely different set of characteristics from the car.
While the first part of the lap is mostly about good traction out of corners and that all-important top speed, the concluding segment is a very contradicting story, lending itself towards preferably high levels of downforce to produce as much grip as possible. This paradox makes the Red Bull Ring a demanding challenge for drivers and engineers alike, as they seek the optimum trade-off between outright top speed and a balanced car in the fast corners.
Weather forecasts for the up-coming weekend suggest unstable conditions throughout the meeting, with potential rain hitting the Red Bull Ring at various points over the three days of action. Temperatures, meanwhile, are expected to fluctuate around 15-18 degrees Celsius.
Click here for a detailed weather forecast
"The Red Bull Ring is one of the circuits I've been looking the most forward to this year; I have a lot of unfinished business there. We have always been very competitive in Austria - last year, for example, I was on pole with a lap I wasn't at all happy with - but we have had so much bad luck in the races and never even made it onto the podium due to various incidents. We have been rewarded poorly at this track, and that is something I intend to change this year. Still, we are obviously aware of the fact that our main rivals were very strong at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, and that we will need to keep that in mind this weekend. From a driving perspective, I have always massively enjoyed the Red Bull Ring, and it will be interesting to find out what we can do this time around."
All times local (GMT+02:00)
Friday 31 May
Free Practice 1: 13.15 (40 minutes)
Free Practice 2: 14.00 (40 minutes)
Qualifying 1: 17.55 (20 minutes)
Qualifying 2: 18.30 (20 minutes)
Saturday 1 June
Race 1: 11.10 (35 minutes)
Race 2: 16.05 (35 minutes)
Sunday 2 June
Race 3: 11.00 (35 minutes)
How it works
Each round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is made up of three races, all of which are of equal length (35 minutes) and importance for the outcome in the title chase. The points structure mirrors that in use in Formula 1, with the winner of each race being awarded 25 points.
The grid for all three races is formed in Friday's two qualifying sessions, which are separated by a short break. The reverse-grid regulations in use during the championship's previous Formula 3 Euro Series incarnation have been dropped for 2013, with qualifying now left as the only tool for shaping up starting positions.
The Race 1 grid is established by the outright results of Qualifying 1, while the subsequent second qualifying session forms the grid for Race 3. For Race 2, the grid will be based on each driver's second-fastest lap in Qualifying 1.
The full 2013 calendar and points system can be viewed here.
Preliminary entry list
FIA Formula 3 European Championship - 2013 entry list
HOW TO FOLLOW FELIX THIS WEEKEND
As always, www.felixracing.se will be fully updated throughout the weekend, with reports from each of the sessions that take place. The website is the central hub of information for everything that goes on both on and off the track, and will also feature other relevant news, pictures and videos.
All three races at the event will be streamed LIVE at www.fiaf3europe.com. A link to the stream will appear at the start page of www.felixracing.se. All-in-all, FIA Formula 3 European Championship action is broadcast in 149 countries throughout the world, out of which more than 80 provide LIVE TV coverage. For further information, please click here.
The interaction with fans and followers will principally involve Felix Racing's official Facebook Fan Page (link below), where supporters can discuss all the goings-on and post potential questions to Felix. Tweets will also be forthcoming through Felix's own Twitter account (@FRosenqvist).