Dietrich Mateschitz, the co-founder and co-owner of Red Bull, has sadly passed away at the age of 78 after being ill for a long period. The Austrian billionaire businessman was an absolute force to be reckoned with and is largely responsible for the success of the company throughout the years.
Mateschitz founded the company in 1984 and launched the brand three years later, before turning Red Bull into an empire that would dominate its market. He bought the Jaguar team back in 2004, through which Red Bull entered F1. He then bought Minardi the very next year, which would become known as Toro Rosso, and now AlphaTauri.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the 2022 F1 US GP qualifying session, team boss Christian Horner expressed his grief at the passing of Mateschitz. He said:
"It's very, very sad, what a great man. What he achieved and what he has done for so many people, around the world in different sports, is second to none."
"So many of us have to be so grateful to him for the opportunities he provided and the vision that he had, the strength of character and never being afraid to chase your dreams. That's what he did here in Formula 1, proving that you can make a difference. We're just incredibly grateful."
Mateschitz took his love for sport and extreme sport to build an empire like no other and acquired football teams, a NASCAR team between 2006 and 2011, and several others.
"An incredibly visionary entrepreneur" - F1 CEO pays tribute to late Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, like many other members of the F1 community, paid tribute to the late Dietrich Mateschitz, describing him as an "incredibly visionary entrepreneur".
As reported by F1.com, Domenicali said:
"I am deeply saddened by the news that Dietrich Mateschitz, a hugely respected and much-loved member of the Formula 1 family has passed away. He was an incredibly visionary entrepreneur and a man who helped to transform our sport and created the Red Bull brand that is known all around the world. I will miss him greatly, as will the whole community in Formula 1, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams at this very sad time."
The Milton Keynes-based team leads the constructors' standings by a large margin and currently stands the chance to secure their fifth world constructors' championship title at the upcoming F1 US GP this weekend.