Ralf sorry to see A1-Ring go

BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver Ralf Schumacher has said that he will be sad to see the demise of the A1-Ring when the Austrian Grand Prix falls off the calendar after this season

Ralf sorry to see A1-Ring go

The circuit, re-built in 1995 from the old majestic Osterreichring track, has often been criticised for not being challenging enough and being stop-and-go with not enough fast corners. The A1 Ring has however provided some of the most entertaining races in recent seasons and was the venue for Ferrari's infamous team orders blunder when Rubens Barrichello had to concede victory to Michael Schumacher last year.

The circuit, built in the Speilberg mountains, failed to secure a contract with Formula One Management for 2004 and is one two European circuits to be removed to make way for grands prix in China and Bahrain next season.

"I'm a little sad that the race is being cut," said Ralf. "If it was up to me, I would like to continue racing in Austria, but unfortunately that is not for the drivers to decide. It seems there are economic reasons behind it, and there's nothing we can do about that.

"Technically speaking there are more demanding circuits than the A1-Ring. But overall it does pose its challenges - both for the car and the team. The circuit should not be underestimated. But what I like about it the most is the atmosphere of the race - the mountains, the meadows, the cows next to the track. Where else do you get that?"

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