The Formula 1 paddock in Austin is mourning the news from Austria of the death of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

Formula 1 paddock in Austin mourns news from Austria of death Red Bull the founder Dietrich Mateshitz.

Austria’s richest billionaire and owner of two Formula 1 teams has died after a long illness.

“It must have been pancreatic cancer,” Roger Benoit, a veteran Swiss journalist, told the Blick newspaper.

World champion Max Verstappenwho credited the late 78-year-old with his Formula 1 career, led the stands.

“I was lucky to be able to see him again a few weeks ago and spend some time with him,” said the Dutchman.

“The last time I saw him, what we discussed made the day special even then. And now this last meeting took on even greater depth.

“It is very difficult to accept the news of his death. I will remember him as a gentle person who cared for people with great love. He wasn’t looking for attention.

“I got to know him as a racer at heart with a huge passion for the sport. I mean, who else in the history of Formula 1 has ever started two teams?” – added Verstappen.

Sebastian Vettelformer four-time Red Bull world champion, admitted he was “shocked” by the news.

“I think he was a very special person who always managed to do things that others thought were impossible,” he said.

“I do not feel able to share my memories of him at this time. It’s really bad news and I want to think about it first.”

Doctor Helmut Marcoperhaps the person closest to Mateszczyz in F1, said his friend and long-time colleague would like Red Bull and everyone else in the paddock to continue to strive for victory in Austin.

“We knew Didi had a very serious medical condition,” he said. “However, now that this has happened, it is not clear to all of us that such a great person should have stepped down so soon.

“But in recognition of all his ideas, all that he created, we keep going. This is what he wanted.

“All this in Formula 1 is only thanks to Didi. His vision, his trust in the team, but also his other entrepreneurial activities, just reflect a truly unique personality.

“But then again, he was a humble man, so with that in mind, we now want to take the rest of this weekend quietly but with some bright results,” Marco added.

Finally, even Red Bull’s main competitor and fellow Austrian Toto Wolff admitted that he was upset by the news from Austria.

“Mateshitz was the most incredible entrepreneur,” he said. “And not just for what he’s managed to create for his own product or a great brand, but also for what he’s done for sports.

“There was a lot of respect despite all the struggles on the track, so it’s also a sad day for Austria and for everyone involved in the sport.

“He’s done so much in all sports — football, hockey, all the game sports. And here, in Formula 1, I think he was the most innovative entrepreneur and part of the history of Formula 1.”

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