Spielberg/Austria, 18th September 2018 The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg is nestled perfectly in the mountainous Styrian landscape, surrounding on three sides by steep slopes, which serve as natural grandstands. This offers fans a great view of the circuit and allows them to follow the action closely. With seven right-handers and just two left-hand corners, the front-left tyre is put under particular strain on the 4.318-kilometre strip of asphalt. “With an asymmetric car and tyre pressure set-up, it is possible to avoid too much strain being put on the front-left of the car at the Red Bull Ring,” explains Hankook DTM engineer Thomas Baltes.
With a mixture of long straights, fast corners and undulating sections, the alpine circuit features a varied layout. Thomas Baltes: “With the various different turns and corners, the climbs and the steep inclines, you need a balanced car set-up with a balanced combination of aerodynamic and mechanical grip.”
The aggressive track surface at the Red Bull Ring could, in case of intense sunshine, result in higher temperatures on the tyre’s running surface. However, this will by no means affect the performance of the Hankook race tyre. “The aggressive manner in which the cars cross the kerbs puts more of a strain on the construction of the Ventus Race. On the whole, the strain on the tyres in Spielberg is fairly average compared to other DTM circuits,” says the Hankook DTM race engineer.
One key point on the circuit is the Castrol Edge corner, which comes directly after the start. The drivers must find the racing line perfectly in this right-hander, in order to gain optimal traction and take plenty of momentum into the subsequent long uphill straight. The best overtaking manoeuvre at the alpine racetrack comes in the following Remus hairpin. Here, the high levels of grip provided by the Hankook race tyre are required, in order to accelerate quickly out of this slow section.
In the past, the Red Bull Ring has often witnessed torrential showers. In these conditions, the layout of the circuit means that the drivers must take a more cautious approach. Thomas Baltes: “The big changes in elevation mean that water flows over the track at many points when it rains. The drivers must reckon with standing water, and therefore an increased risk of aquaplaning, particularly at the end of downhill sections.”