With the season approaching the half way point, all eyes turned to the home of Red Bull and the Austrian Grand Prix in the picturesque setting of Spielberg and the Red Bull Ring.
Our flight from Heathrow was busy but smooth and we were soon on the airport transfer coach and in the historical city of Vienna. With two hotel options to choose from, guests were welcomed with drinks at the 4* Savoyen hotel for a couple of much needed refreshment to combat the 35+ degree heat and really get ready for the weekend ahead.
Our two coaches left early on Saturday morning and took the road through mountains towards the track. We managed to avoid any hold ups with traffic which meant that we had the chance to enjoy all the entertainment throughout the day – away from the track, the guests could to get up close with the F1 cars in the race village as well as the Legends' BMWs that would be used on Sunday by some of the biggest names of the sport such as Niki Lauda (very apt after watching Rush on the drive in). Soon enough, all attention was on the track and saw Mercedes again flex their muscles with Lewis taking pole and Nico completing the front of the grid before a grid penalty saw Rosberg demoted to 6th for replacing his gearbox. Due to a similar penalty for Vettel, our British fans had another reason to cheer as Button was promoted to third. We had two transfers running back to Vienna with half of the group leaving after the F1 qualification and the rest deciding to stay on for the GP2 & GP3 and they were treated to some great racing.
After the transfer back to Vienna, guests took a stroll into the city centre to sample some of the seemingly limitless options of food and drink, with some staying out until the small hours, however this responsible staff member decided that bed was the best option in preparation for the following day!
Before we knew it, race day was upon us and we transferred to the track (even with increased traffic this was under two hours). With the stage set, a couple of coffees drunk and one of the largest pretzels I have ever seen eaten, the action got going…starting with one of the most spectacular air displays that could be imagined.
The race itself was dominated by the finale. After a great start from Rosberg, the championship leader entered the final lap leading his British team mate but after clipping the kerb at turn 1, Lewis saw his chance to overtake and made his move. Rosberg responded by forcing Hamilton wide (too wide a steward's enquiry would later find) which resulted in contact and Rosberg’s car being damaged, resulting in the German driver limping across the line in fourth place and giving up some of his fast dwindling lead in the championship.
As the heavens opened, our coach left for the city and the conversation was dominated by the dramatic finish and the looming threat of team orders from Mercedes chief Toto Wolff. By the time we arrived back in Vienna, the debate was still raging and continued to do so over dinner and the odd glass of wine.
Monday brought a lazy morning and a final stroll around beautiful Vienna before making our way back to the airport and swiftly being returned to Heathrow.
The Austrian GP was a great experience and having the city backdrop of Vienna really did make for a wonderful weekend.