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Red Bull Owner, Co-Founder Dietrich Mateschitz Dead at 78

Red Bull Racing team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has died at 78, Formula 1 announced Oct. 22.

Red Bull, the energy drink, was founded in the 1980s by Mateschitz. He first brought Red Bull into F1 in 1995 when Red Bull first served as the primary sponsor for the Sauber team. The relationship continued until the acquisition of Jaguar at the end of 2004. The team was renamed Red Bull Racing starting with the 2005 season.

Red Bull has 89 race wins as a team in F1, as well as six driver’s championships and four constructors’ championships.

Max Verstappen clinched this year’s driver’s championship in Japan, earning 12 wins so far in 2022.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez has three victories this year.

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“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,” F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said.

“He was an incredible 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.”

After the 2005 season, Mateschitz (via Red Bull) bought the Minardi team from Paul Stoddart. The team was rebranded first as Scuderia Toro Rosso, then AlphaTauri starting in 2020. The team has two victories in F1, both coming at Monza. Sebastian Vettel won in 2008, while Pierre Gasly won in 2020. Their best finish in the Constructor’s Championship is sixth on three occasions (2008, 2019 and 2021).

In addition to Mateschitz’s work in F1, he launched a NASCAR team in late 2006. Originally known as Team Red Bull, the team was generally known as the Red Bull Racing Team during their five full seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series. The team entered the series in 2007 as one of a number of new teams running with Toyota manufacturer support. Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger were the team’s first drivers.

The Cup Series was a baptism by fire for Mateschitz as both Allmendinger and Vickers struggled to make races in the first year. 2008 was better as the team could focus on just the COT (2007 was split between the COT and the Gen 4 car), although Allmendinger was ultimately replaced by a combination of Mike Skinner and Scott Speed.

In 2009, the team progressed to the point where Vickers claimed their first victory from the pole at Michigan. That allowed Red Bull to make their one and only playoff appearance. Vickers would eventually finish 11th in points.

Vickers missed most of 2010 due to health issues, resulting in a topsy-turvy season. For the team’s final year in 2011, Kasey Kahne arrived to drive despite already being under contract to race for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Kahne took the team’s last Cup victory at Phoenix Raceway towards the end of the season.

About the author

Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor and involved with photos, social media and news editing. A California native, Joy was raised as a motorsports fan and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.

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