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Special feature

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

For about two seconds I hold Dietrich Mateschitz’s wallet in my hands. It has fallen out of his motorcycle helmet, which I’ve moved from a leather armchair in order to be able to sit more comfortably opposite ‘Mr Red Bull’. I resist the temptation to pop the clip and look inside.

It’s slim, black, light and confers upon the holder an immense feeling of power. With this wallet, and access to the resources it represents, Formula 1 teams, football franchises, stunt planes, rocket-men, sky-divers, base-jumpers, white-water rafters, kite-surfers, snowboarders, downhill skiers… can be bought.

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