Red Bull founder and F1 owner Dietrich Mateschitz dies

Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz has died aged 78.

The owner of the famous energy drink company passed away on Sunday morning AEDT.

Mateschitz was instrumental in making Red Bull one of the world’s largest energy drink companies, but also spearheaded the brand’s ventures into sport.

He bought the Jaguar Formula 1 team in 2004, which has become the Red Bull F1 team that has won six drivers’ championships and can win its fifth constructors’ championship this weekend.

The Red Bull F1 team called a full team meeting an hour before qualifying started in Austin, Texas, to convey the news.

Mateschitz also purchased the team formally known as Minardi, which has been known as Torro Rosso and AlphaTauri since then.

He was born in Styria, modern-day Austria, on May 20, 1944.

He founded Red Bull in 1984 with Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya, and launched the drink a few years later.

Mateschitz was heavily involved in football, owning teams in Austria, Germany and the United States.

Despite being a major force in F1, Mateschitz was not often seen at races and kept a low profile.

Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner said Mateschitz was a man who followed his dreams.

“What a great man. He’s few of a kind, what he’s achieved what he’s done for so many people around the world across different sports is second to none,’ he said.

“The vision that he had, the strength of character and never being afraid to follow your dreams. That’s what he did here in Formula 1.”

Former F1 driver Martin Brundle paid tribute to Mateschitz while commentating for the UK’s Sky Sports F1

“It’s really sad news. A wonderful man for motorsport,” Mr Brundle said.

“He’s a man who started really struggling in business.

“Then found this amazing drink, brought it back to Europe and then just grown it into the mighty business that it is.”

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