Mateschitz’s power unit vision “puts Red Bull in a very strong position for the future”

2022 United States Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the company’s late founder Dietrich Mateschitz was still working on its future plans in the week before his death.

Mateschitz was a driving force behind the team’s decision to become an engine constructor, said Horner. Red Bull set up its Powertrains division in Milton Keynes in order to take over the production of its Honda-designed power units when the manufacturer officially left the sport at the end of last season.

“He had set that vision and he was he was involved right up until last week,” said Horner. Mateschitz passed away on Saturday.

“He had the vision and endorsed the plan for Red Bull Powertrains, to set the team up for the future for the long-term. The commitment that he’s shown to that and what he’s enabled us to create in Milton Keynes puts Red Bull Racing in a very strong position for many, many years to come.”

Red Bull clinched its fifth constructors championship, its first since 2013, the day after Mateschitz died. Horner praised Max Verstappen’s performance after he rebounded from a slow pit stop and passed Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory.

“With 10 laps to go I’m not sure it would have been the result that we would have all hoped for if we’d have finished second in the race today,” said Horner.

“I think for Max, he had a determination going into the race, I think he was always going to go for it. We made life difficult for him today, made it more entertaining for the crowd. But he did it in the best possible way.”

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The team dedicated the title to its late founder, said Horner. “To win the grand prix here, to seal that constructors championship was a very special moment for us as a team, as a company.

“To do it on a weekend where we’ve lost Dietrich, obviously we’d like to dedicate this championship to him and his family for everything that he has done not just for Red Bull Racing, for Formula 1.”

The field observed a minute’s applause for Mateschitz in the build-up to the race. Horner said Red Bull wanted a mood of celebration rather than a more sombre memorial.

“When we learned of the news of Dietrich’s passing, it was very emotional for the whole team because he’s such a giant of a man,” he said.

“We felt determined to go out and really honour him in a way that would make him proud. So there was no black armbands, there was no minute’s silence. It was the embodiment of celebrating him.”

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2022 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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9 comments on “Mateschitz’s power unit vision “puts Red Bull in a very strong position for the future””

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how a new engine design concept will go in the future as it’s pretty easy to refine an existing design rather than create something new from the ground up. Obviously Honda have a rich history as one of the best engine builders in the world so it’ll be interesting how Red Bull do when working on their own on a new design later down the line if they commit to going it alone.

    I’m more concerned about what might happen to Alpha Tauri in the long term rather than Red Bull.

    F1 does have a lot to thank Mateschitz for, he put a lot of money in the sport and kept 20% of the cars on the grid funded through some testing times around the global market crash in 2008 when several manufacturers ran away. Even if you don’t like the teams he funded, we should appreciate he’s contributed more to the sport than many others including some giant manufacturers.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      25th October 2022, 15:27

      @slowmo Yes, I think F1 should find a way to honor its champions like Mateschitz. They deserve recognition for what they’ve given to the sport. I’ve never seen in an interview – he seemed to be such a private person, never trying to take the spotlight away from anyone.

      1. @freelittlebirds indeed he was truly someone who has given a lot back to the sport over the years including many areas of motorsports and not just F1. Obviously a title sponsor for teams for many years before he bought his own teams too.

  2. I’m looking forward to Rolls Royce coffee, Boeing furniture polish, and Smith & Wesson tofu.

  3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    25th October 2022, 16:57

    Does Mateschitz have a successor? If he was the driving force who is there to continue? I know he has a son, does he inherit the share in Red Bull? Is he interested in F1 and all the other sporting activities to continue with sponsorship?

  4. Honestly, the comments being made by Horner sound to me like someone who is kind of laying things out in the press just in case ownership has things end up in a not the best for the team situation. I sure hope not.

  5. The power train division is probably also a convenient way to get within the budget cap. Would not amaze me if Ferrari and Mercedes moved a lot of people into their power train divisions to get inside the budget cap.

    1. Gotta love empty speculation so I’ll do it too: Would not amaze me if they didn’t.

      1. Thanks, you are quite right. Just speculation. When the top teams had to significantly reduce cost, I could imagine they rather relocate people than fire them.

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