Death of Dietrich Mateschitz: Sebastian Vettel is shocked

The death of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz (1944-2022) caused great dismay, especially in the racing world.

Death of Dietrich Mateschitz: Sebastian Vettel is shocked

The death of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz (1944-2022) caused great dismay, especially in the racing world. The Formula 1 drivers received the message during qualifying for the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Numerous racing teams in the premier class sent expressions of condolence that evening, Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali (57) said via Twitter that he was "deeply saddened by the news that Dietrich Mateschitz, an extremely respected and beloved member of the Formula 1 family, died". He was an "incredibly visionary entrepreneur and a man who helped transform our sport and created the Red Bull brand that is known around the world."

Sebastian Vettel (35), who became world champion four times in Mateschitz' Red Bull team, was particularly emotional: "I have very, very nice and good memories," he told the Austrian broadcaster ORF. "I was still very young at the time, but the relationship was always on an equal footing - I only learned to appreciate that later. He did what others didn't think was possible - in any respect. Now it's a big shock for everyone who has accompanied him on this journey."

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc (25) spoke of a "great loss for motorsport". Mateschitz was "a great person". Former Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo (33) described the entrepreneur as "down to earth" and "a great soul". He was shocked and sad, but at the same time "grateful that I was able to experience him".

Max Verstappen (25), who currently drives in the racing team founded by Mateschitz, said on the sidelines of the GP in Austin, Texas: "The qualifying result is not important. It is important to remember Dietrich and what he did for us as a team also for the entire F1 and the larger Red Bull family. He was always super nice and caring to me." He will "always remember the last meeting with him a month ago, it was very special and it's even more so now". "He believed in me and a lot of other riders as young athletes and gave so many such incredible opportunities. Without him I wouldn't be sitting here, it's an incredibly tough day." On Instagram, the Dutchman dedicated a post to Mateschitz with more emotional words on Sunday morning.

Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen (78) also spoke up: With Mateschitz, a "great sponsor of domestic top-class and extreme sports has left us," said the politician on Twitter. His life was "simply impressive".

Mateschitz left a big mark not only in the racing world, but also in winter sports. "It's so sad to hear," wrote ski racer Lindsey Vonn (38) on Twitter. "I have known Didi for almost 20 years and have been part of the Red Bull family."

Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner (53) said goodbye with a black picture on Instagram. In 2012, Mateschitz made Baumgartner's historic stratospheric jump from a height of 39 kilometers possible.

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