Going back to the origins is Sebastian Vettel’s motto in the Formula 1 race at the Mexican Grand Prix. The German, who made his constant helmet design changes famous, will return to his original Red Bull helmet this weekend, even though he drives for rival team Aston Martin.
The design is a tribute to the recently deceased company founder Dietrich Mateschitz and also bears the inscription ” Danke Didi! ” (Thank you, ‘Didi’, for Dietrich). Vettel was a Red Bull protégé early in his career and therefore always drove with the energy drink maker’s design on his helmet in the early years.
He also contested his first Formula 1 race, the 2007 United States Grand Prix for BMW-Sauber, wearing this helmet design, which became his trademark. Only some time later, in the Red Bull team itself, Vettel began to use helmets that he changed regularly.
Vettel, along with teammates like Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, were among eight drivers who paid a special tribute to Mateschitz on the Sunday before the race in Austin for having been linked to Red Bull throughout their careers. “I think the impact that Red Bull has had on the grid over the last 15 years has been extraordinary and probably unprecedented,” Vettel said.
He had a good relationship with Mateschitz, as he himself underlines. “What I really appreciate today is that he was always up front, even though he was clearly more experienced and wiser than me, especially at the beginning,” says the German. So it was a “real shock” when he heard the news of Mateschitz’s death.
“For me he was a great inspiration because he was always himself. So much has happened in his life and he has developed and grown so much, but it is really his creative spirit that has shaped this path and made it to the end.” .
Vettel said the world of sport – not just motorsport – had suffered a great loss : “The brand had such an impact and helped boys, girls, children, men and women on their journey and helped them realize their dream. And that was all Dietrich and the idea he had in his head of what he wanted to do with the brand. And that’s what he created,” says Vettel.
And he shows his respect: “It is a very, very big loss for everyone who had the privilege of knowing him and being with him. He was extremely humble, kind and just had a good and big heart.”