Following the announcement of the passing of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, Toto Wolff says “being a Red Bull driver was something prestigious”.
The racing world was rocked yesterday by the news that Red Bull co-founder and owner Dietrich Mateschitz had passed away.
Mateschitz’s contribution to motorsport cannot be understated. He not only created one of the most successful Formula 1 teams of all time, but he also helped numerous young drivers embark on their racing journey.
One of those young drivers was current Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. The Austrian was sponsored by Red Bull while he was a GT driver.
After Mateschitz’s passing was announced, Wolff paid tribute to the legendary figure.
“I was in a car that was sponsored by Red Bull but I was proud to wear those colours as a junior driver or a GT driver back in the day,” the Austrian said.
“Being a Red Bull driver was something prestigious and I was proud wearing the overalls and the team kit.”
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Wolff then emphasized what Mateschitz had done for sport overall in his native Austria.
“What he has done in Austria for football, for ice-hockey, Leipzig, the racing programme, it’s incredible. It’s probably the biggest contribution in Formula 1 of any single individual.”
Wolff then revealed he engaged with Mateschitz in personal talks, even recently while Red Bull and Mercedes were competing against each other.
“I was lucky enough that I was invited sometimes to the famous hangar and it was quite impressive.
“The man was super-reflective, and what started always like a little bit of a Mercedes – Red Bull discussion, it was always the two of us, took hours and then ended up being a very personal discussion around families and I enjoyed that,” Wolff concluded.