The Austrian billionaire owner of the two Red Bull F1 teams Dietrich Mateschitz has died aged 78. He was known to be seriously ill in recent weeks though when Christian Horner and Helmut Marko were asked about his condition they refused to comment referring to the private manner Mateschitz has always conducted his personal affairs.
As Sky F1 went on air for the qualifying session for the US GP, the entire Red Bull trackside crew were filmed Solomon faced filing into the team’s hospitality building.
Death of Red Bull F1 owner announced
Red Bull publication Speedweek published a statement which reads.
“Austria has lost its most successful and innovative entrepreneur who turned the energy drink Red Bull into a global brand. Dietrich Mateschitz died today at the age of 78 after a long, serious illness.
“Because of his poor health, Dietrich Mateschitz has hardly appeared in public for a year and a half. He was no longer seen at the RB Leipzig derbies against Bayern Munich and did not appear at the Formula 1 and MotoGP world championship rounds in Spielberg in 2021 and 2022. The 78-year-old conserved his strength and trusted the doctors’ art to fight his terminal illness.
“Our sympathy goes to the closest relatives, Marc, Marion and Anita, and the many friends in these difficult hours. We are deeply affected and stunned.”
Equity give away to Porsche appeared strange
During the recent talks between Red Bull and Porsche where the German manufacturer was set to buy 50% of the Milton Keynes outfit, F1 observers felt for Red Bull to give up so much equity was an attempt to secure the future of the F1 team.
The future of Red Bull without Mateschitz is uncertain, given he owns the team 100%. Christian Horner revealed recently that neither he or Adrian Newey were equity shareholders in the team.
A shaken and emotional Christian Horner speaking to Sky said, “Its very very sad.
“What a great man.”
“He was one of a kind. What he has achieved and done for so many people around the world across different sports is second to none.”
“So many of us have to be so grateful to him for the opportunities he’s provided. The vision that he had, the strength of character and [promoted the ideal of] never being afraid to follow your dreams.”
“That’s what he did here in Formula 1 proving that you can make a difference. We’re just incredibly grateful to him for everything that he’s done, everything he supported us with.
“So many drivers, team members and people in this pit lane owe him so much.
“We head into this qualifying as he would have wanted . He was passionate about Formula One, passionate about the team and our determination is to go and do the best for him today and obviously in the race tomorrow.”
Horner and Newey have no ownership in Red Bull F1
Christian Horner and Adrian Newey have been given a free hand by Mateschitz to run the Red Bull F1 team autonomously. Whether this will continue in the future is now up in the air.
What kind of provisions Dietricht Mateschitz has made for the Red Bull F1 racing outfits future is uncertain though many F1 observers were shocked that the Milton Keynes squad was in negotiations with Porsche to sell half of their team.
If Red Bull were forced to take a partner like Porsche, Christian Horner has already outlined this would change the dynamic and culture of how the team operates.
That said; Formula One is in rude health and were Mateschitz will and testament mean the team should be sold, there will be a suite of partners lining up to become part of one of the most successful F1 outfits in modern times.
Martin Brundle, Simon Lazenby and Danica Patrick pay tribute to Dietrich Mateschitz. pic.twitter.com/tnqbsPgRO3
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) October 22, 2022