Red Bull F1 team mourns the death of its founder Dietrich Mateschitz at 78

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AUSTIN — Formula One and championship-leading Red Bull team mourned the passing of the energy drink company’s Austrian founder Dietrich Mateschitz on Saturday at the age of 78.

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Red Bull Racing principal Christian Horner confirmed the news ahead of qualifying for the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, where the team can clinch a fifth constructors’ championship.

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has already won the drivers’ title for the second consecutive year.

« What he (Mateschitz) has achieved and what he has done for so many people around the world, in different sports, is second to none, » said Horner.

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“Many of us have to be very grateful to him for the opportunities he gave us, the vision he had, the strength of character and never being afraid to follow and pursue his dreams.

« That’s what he’s done here in Formula 1, proving you can make a difference… so many drivers, so many team members, so many people in this pit lane owe him so much. » he told Sky Sports television.

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Mateschitz bought the Ford-owned Jaguar team in late 2004 and turned it into Red Bull Racing, a team whose maverick image masked a fiercely competitive spirit.

The Austrian also bought Italian team Minardi and renamed it Toro Rosso, Italy’s Red Bull. They now compete under the name AlphaTauri, the company’s fashion brand.

The arrival of Adrian Newey, one of the sport’s foremost designers who had written race-winning cars for Williams and McLaren, accelerated Red Bull’s progress and Germany’s Sebastian Vettel won four straight 2010 titles to 2013.

Red Bull also won the constructors’ title in all four seasons.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz, a hugely respected and much loved member of the Formula 1 family,” said Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 Chief Executive.

« He was an incredible visionary entrepreneur and a man who helped transform our sport and create the world-famous Red Bull brand. »


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