Formula One will return to Austria in 2014

VIENNA Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:35pm BST

Red Bull three-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives his racing car during a promotional event in the Austrian city of Graz December 1, 2012. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Red Bull three-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives his racing car during a promotional event in the Austrian city of Graz December 1, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Leonhard Foeger

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Formula One racing will return to Austria next year after an 11-year absence, champions Red Bull, who own the Spielberg circuit in Styria, said on Tuesday.

The energy-drink company said a deal had been struck between Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz and Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

"Dietrich Mateschitz and Bernie Ecclestone have reached agreement to the effect that Formula One will come back to Styria next year," Red Bull said in a brief statement.

"On condition of approval by the required authorities, July 6 2014 is expected to be the date."

Austria last hosted a Grand Prix in 2003, after which the circuit was due to be extended, but construction work was stopped midway and the track became unusable for years before Mateschitz bought and rebuilt it, renaming it the Red Bull Ring.

Mateschitz, who founded Red Bull with two Thai partners in 1984, is one of Austria's richest people, with a net worth of $7.1 billion, according to Forbes.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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