Sebastian Vettel experienced the most successful years of his Formula 1 career with Red Bull, winning four world titles with the team between 2010 and 2013.
The German owes a lot of this success to Red Bull owner and entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz, who sadly passed away last week, for bringing the team into Formula 1 when he purchased Jaguar Racing.
Vettel dominated the F1 world with Mateschitz’s team, becoming untouchable for a spell, similar to the Mercedes dominance of recent times and the 35-year-old will pay tribute to his former boss this weekend with a Red Bull inspired helmet, similar to what he would have worn over ten years ago.
“It’s been a real shock, last week, to hear the news and a massive, massive loss,” he said when asked about Mateschitz’s passing.
“To me he’s been a great inspiration because he’s always been himself.
“So many things happened and evolved in his life and got so big around him but it is really his creative mind probably shaped that path and shaped that path until the very end.”
The German has spoken about the impact that the Austrian billionaire has had on the sport, while revealing that the pair shared a strong relationship, in a touching tribute.
“I think the impact that Red Bull had on the grid in the last 15 years has been outstanding and probably unprecedented.
“I think Dietrich, to me, we had a very good relationship and what I really appreciate today is that it was always eye level, even though he was far more experienced and knowledgeable than I was, especially early on.
“So it will be a huge loss for the Red Bull family, not just for racing, all of us in Formula 1, with the impact of two teams on the grid and the drivers like I said, but I think, speaking for so many other sports where the brand, Red Bull, had such a huge impact and helped kids, girls, boys, men, women along the wat and helped them to chase their dreams.
“It’s all down to Dietrich and the idea that he had in his head, what he wanted to do with this brand and that’s what he created.
“It is a very, very big loss and everybody who had the privilege to get to know him and be with him again, echoing a lot of what Daniel [Ricciardo] said, extremely humble, kind and just a good and big heart.”
Vettel has had a stellar career with Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin. It all started when he joined Mateschitz’s Red Bull driver programme all those years ago, and he will be retiring at the end of this season.