There is reportedly an increasing level of concern around the wellness of Red Bull’s founder and owner, Dietrich Mateschitz.
Red Bull was founded in 1987, and its involvement in Formula 1 dates back to before the turn of the 21st century.
They started sponsoring the Sauber team in 1995, two years after the Swiss team was founded, and that deal ran until the end of the 2004 season.
After the Jaguar team had designed their 2005 car, the Austrian company struck a deal to purchase the Milton Keynes-based team, and the Red Bull team has been on the grid since then.
Mateschitz appointed former F1 driver, Dr Helmut Marko, as the team’s head of the driver programme, as well as former racing driver in his own right, Christian Horner, as team principal.
A junior side, Toro Rosso, was established in 2006 when Red Bull also took over Minardi, and they have since become AlphaTauri.
Mateschitz’s programme has seen nine championship successes, including four consecutive drivers’ titles for Sebastian Vettel between 2010 and 2013.
He and Mark Webber helped them to the Constructors’ Championship in all of those seasons, but Red Bull would go seven years without a championship after the turn of the turbo-hybrid era.
Max Verstappen ended that run last season when he claimed the Drivers’ Championship in dramatic fashion, and he is now on course to claim his second.
Mateschitz is a notoriously private person, so he can scarcely be seen at F1 races, and due to reports that he might not be in good health, he will likely not be at the circuit to see the Dutchman earn his second championship.
It is thought that the owner has not been attending meetings with the team or within the company, and there were even reports that his absence led to a collapse in negotiations between Red Bull and Porsche.
Roger Benoit, a journalist for Blick, reports that Mateschitz is “not doing well.”
Kronen Zeitung in Austria meanwhile has said that “insiders report that he has not even been available to his closest employees lately.”
Mateschitz celebrated his 78th birthday back in May of this year.