Austin, Texas– The Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, co-founder of the energy drink company Red Bull and founder and owner of the Formula 1 racing team Red Bull, is dead. He was 78.
Red Bull racing team officials at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, said Saturday that Mateschitz had died.
There was no immediate word as to where he died, or a cause of death.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner paid tribute to Mateschitz just before his drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez climbed into their cars for qualifying for the US race.
“He’s the reason we’re here. It was his passion for Formula 1 and his vision. He was always enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive on good days and bad,” said Horner. “I feel privileged to have known him. For the whole team, despite the shock, we will now do exactly what he would have wanted, which is to drive his cars there and do our best, and.” try to finish this Constructors Championship (Title).”
Red Bull driver Verstappen has secured the driver’s title for the second time in a row.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the motorsport association FIA, said that Mateschitz was “an outstanding personality in motorsport”.
“The thoughts of the entire FIA family are with his loved ones at this time and he will be greatly missed.”
Mateschitz rose to fame as the public face of Red Bull, an Austro-Thai conglomerate that says it sold nearly 10 billion cans of its caffeine- and taurine-based drink in 172 countries worldwide last year.
Mateschitz not only helped the energy drink to become popular around the world, but also built up a sports, media, real estate and gastronomy empire around the brand.
With the growing success of Red Bull, he significantly increased his investments in the sport. Red Bull now operates football clubs, ice hockey teams and F1 racing teams and has contracts with hundreds of athletes in different sports.
Mateschitz and Thai investor Chaleo Yoovidhya founded the company in 1984 after Mateschitz saw the potential in marketing Krating Daeng – another energy drink created by Chaleo – to Western audiences. According to Red Bull, Mateschitz worked on the formula for three years before the modified drink was launched under its new name in his native Austria in 1987.
Under Mateschitz’s leadership, Red Bull rapidly increased its market share, first in Europe, then in the United States, aided by marketing campaigns promoting the drink’s claimed stimulant properties and extensive sponsorship deals in motorsports, soccer, extreme sports and the music industry.
The Red Bull Racing team has enjoyed success in Formula 1, winning the constructors’ championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, while German driver Sebastian Vettel has won four consecutive drivers’ championships while under contract for the team.
Red Bull operates football teams in the top leagues in Austria, Germany, Brazil and the United States. The company started with the purchase of Austrian club SV Austria Salzburg in 2005 and renaming it to the corporate colors under the name Red Bull Salzburg.
It repeated the move to Germany, where it bought fifth division club SSV Markranstdt in 2009, renamed it RasenBallsport Leipzig and funded its steady rise through the league system until gaining promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016. German league regulations prevented the company from naming the Red Bull Leipzig team – its name in German, RasenBallsport, means “Rasenballsport Leipzig”, but the club only refers to itself as RB Leipzig.
Mateschitz also made headlines with his populist views. He previously criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her handling of the refugee crisis in 2015-16. The Austrian television channel Servus, which belongs to Red Bull Media House GmbH, is known for representing right-wing provocative views.
Mateschitz bought the Jaguar Racing team from the previous owner Ford at the end of 2004 and renamed it Red Bull for the 2005 season. Later that year he also bought Minardi and renamed it Toro Rosso, cleverly using the team as a feed team for Red Bull.
“It’s important that we recognize everything he’s brought to the sport,” Horner said. “Not only this sport, but it goes far, far beyond.”
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https://abc7.com/red-bull-dietrich-mateschitz-dies-energy-drink-f1-racing/12362257/ Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz has died at the age of 78