Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has paid tribute to the team’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who has passed away at the age of 78.
Mateschitz’s death was announced to the Red Bull garage shortly before the beginning of qualifying at the US GP.
The Austrian co-founded the Red Bull energy drink brand in 1987, and subsequently grew it into one of the most successful companies in the market with a brand associated with high-octane stunts and sports.
His passion for F1 led to the formation of Red Bull Racing in 2004, and Horner said he was an inspirational figure who was the driving force behind the team’s success.
“He is a remarkable man what he’s done for so many, not just in Formula 1, but in the Red Bull business, across all the sporting platforms. And he was a man that inspired so much,” Horner told Sky F1.
“He is the reason that we are here. It was his passion for Formula 1. And his vision. That is the reason that he has two teams in the F1 pit lane. He was always enthusiastic, encouraging, supportive, in the good days and the bad days.”
Nothing is impossible
Horner was drafted in by Mateschitz to manage the fledgling Red Bull team in 2004 after he purchased the Jaguar F1 outfit.
As a relative unknown in the sport and one of the youngest team principals, Horner said he represented a gamble, but that Mateschitz had given him the backing to make the team into the success it has become.
“He gave me a chance as a young guy. He backed me. He gave so many people an opportunity and he encouraged you that nothing is impossible, and to follow your dreams,” he said.
“And he was a fan of Formula 1. He was hugely proud of everything that we’ve done. And I think the big thing for him now is he’d want to see us go out there and give it everything.
“We’ll be doing today for him.”