Formula 1

Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz dies aged 78

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Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Dietrich Mateschitz, the founder and co-owner of Red Bull, has died at the age of seventy-eight following a long-term illness.

The Austrian founded the Red Bull company in 1984 alongside Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya, with the sports drink later launched in Austria in 1987. The company is today known across the globe and a world leader in the sports drink industry.

Mateschitz helped establish Red Bull into a prominent figure in the sporting world by not only owning three football teams but also sponsoring thousands of athletes across the sporting world.

In 2004 Mateschitz purchased the Jaguar Racing Formula 1 Team from the team’s owners Ford, the team would be rebranded the following season into Red Bull Racing and has competed in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship ever since.

The following year Mateschitz would expand Red Bull’s involvement in Formula 1 by purchasing the Minardi F1 Team alongside Gerhard Berger. The team was subsequently renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso and currently competes under the name Scuderia AlphaTauri.

Mateschitz purchased the A1-Ring, now known as the Red Bull Ring, in 2004. The circuit located in Spielberg was reopened in 2011, and in 2014 it would host it’s first Austrian Grand Prix in eleven years and has since remained an ever-present on the Formula 1 calendar.

Red Bull teams in Formula 1 have won a combined ninety-one race victories in the sport with four Constructors Championship and six Drivers Championships to their name. The most recent championship came just two weeks ago in Japan as Max Verstappen secured his second world championship in as many years.

The news of Mateschitz’s passing was announced just before Saturday’s qualifying session at the United States Grand Prix. Speaking to Sky Sports F1 shortly after the news, Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner paid tribute to the Red Bull co-owner.

“It is very, very sad, what a great man. We are just incredibly grateful for him and everything he has done, everything he has supported us with over the years and so many drivers, so many team members, so many people in this pitlane owe him so much.

“It is important that we celebrate and recognise the contribution that he has made. Quite a remarkable man, an inspiration, and one that we owe a huge amount.”

After qualifying in third, in his post qualifying interview, Max Verstappen added: “It has been hard news, I think, for everyone.

“What he has meant for Red Bull but also the sport and especially what he has done for me in terms of my career so far and in general my life.”

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