Christian Horner has revealed how close Dietrich Mateschitz was to withdrawing his two teams from Formula 1 before committing to remaining in the sport.
Red Bull Racing boss Horner revealed how team owner Mateschitz had become disillusioned with the direction Formula 1 was heading during 2015, but committed to keeping both Red Bull and sister outfit Scuderia Toro Rosso in the sport despite the disappointments of not being able to secure better engines for his teams.
As well as his two teams, Mateschitz has put his money into the Red Bull Ring circuit in Austria as well as its young driver programme, from which all four drivers within the two teams – Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr – have graduated.
“Dietrich became fairly disillusioned with F1, and understandably so,” revealed Horner. “With both the direction the sport was heading in, and the deals that he believed were in place that were reneged on.
“Inevitably he was pretty upset and peeved off with F1. But when you look at what he has invested in the sport, in two Grand Prix teams, a circuit, all the young driver programmes – foremost and utmost he is a fan of the sport.
“I think at one point he felt that he was being forced out – and if people didn’t want Red Bull to be in F1, why should he be there and commit the funding that the group does?
“He sees the commitment we have to the people and he is a fighter at the end of the day. He is a competitive guy and wants to see the team get back to the front of the grid.
“But for sure, during the summer, his motivation regarding F1, with the sequence of events that happened, he became fairly peeved off.”