Mateschitz: Like Muhammad Ali, Alonso’s media statements are very deliberate

Dietrich Mateschitz wary of Fernando Alonso's tactics

Dietrich Mateschitz wary of Fernando Alonso’s tactics

Red Bull team owner, billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz has likened Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.

Mateschitz was referring to the fact that many regarded Ali as the master of trying to win with the help of ‘psychological warfare’.

Alonso’s key psychological weapon in the Red Bull era might have been his constant suggestion that that arch rival Sebastian Vettel wins because his car is superior.

“Like Muhammad Ali, Alonso’s media statements are very deliberate,” Mateschitz told Kronen Zeitung newspaper. “He is the worst of all at the psychological warfare.”

Helmut Marko celebrates with Sebastian Vettel after the Indian GP

Helmut Marko celebrates with Sebastian Vettel after the Indian GP

Mateschitz’s right hand man, Helmut Marko, thinks Vettel’s struggle for popularity this year – including numerous bouts of podium booing – is partly due to the psychological war.
“People like Fernando Alonso say Sebastian is not the best driver, he only has the best car,” the Austrian told Der Spiegel.

“These are targeted political statements,” Marko insisted.

However, he insists that is no reason for Vettel to jump ship to another team, after four consecutive championship triumphs in a Red Bull.

“He will only change teams if we no longer build him a competitive car,” said Marko.

“Why would he go to Ferrari or Mercedes now, especially since he would have Alonso or Hamilton as his teammate?

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel on the podium in Belgium

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel on the podium in Belgium

“I see no alternative for him at the moment other than us,” added Marko.

“Ayrton Senna won all of his titles with McLaren, he never drove for Ferrari, but he didn’t have an image problem because of it.

“Maybe it’s cooler to win for Ferrari, but that’s not easy at the moment,” he insisted.

Meanwhile, Mateschitz – who watched Vettel secure his fourth title in India from the comfort of his lounge in Salzburg- admitted the moment was satisfying if not euphoric.

“Because we expected it, it was like celebrating Christmas over a week,” he smiled. “It’s not quite as exciting, but the joy is there every time.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Kimi4WDC

    Cold truth.

  • Richard Piers

    Alonso might be the best certainly not the worst, at least he does his own speaking and does not have an army of “sidekicks” to do it for him.
    Vettel must think hard why he suffers an image problem. Some suggestions. The finger is arrogant, the tone of some radio comments arrogant, the “passing” of Webber cheating, too similar to Schumacher.
    He is a good driver, greatness yet to be proven. Without question he does have the best car.

  • Nj

    Alonso &hami are winning battle aganst seb off track on thursdays, seb beat then ontrack on sun, just do talk on track guys

  • Spartacus

    Let’s not forget that many comments made by Seb aren’t in his native language. That when he speaks in English that is his second language. It’s much much better than my German.

    Secondly, Alonso should concentrate on his driving rather than his tongue. And the Ferrari was certainly not a bad car this year, and at points the best race car too. Plus, whatever system they’re using (traction control?) off the start is better than anybody else has. Ferrari just need a better driver to get results.

  • KIH

    @Richard Piers

    You said Vettel’s overtaking on Mark is cheating, then how about Fernando’s on Massa? And it’s not only once or twice ;)

  • Ukwhite

    @Richard Piers: So wrong mate, waste no time sayng more.

  • Eevel

    @Richard Piers
    Please enlighten us as to why one driver overtaking another slower driver is considered cheating by a genius such as yourself.

  • Kubrick

    Mate shits can smd. When have you heard the last time Montezemolo talk down on Vettel? Alonso is by all means the best, both on and off-track.

  • Abhishek

    Vettel lets his track performance do the talking. Let them brats bicker. That shouldn’t matter to the German. Kudos to RBR and Vet alike (Y)

  • vincent

    “Why would he go to Ferrari or Mercedes now, especially since he would have Alonso or Hamilton as his teammate?- maybe he might want to prove he is the best rather than just driving the best. i do not see the other champs avoiding these battles. both alonso and lewis plus kimi have all wanted to go to rb at some point or another and still they end up with mark webber markII go figure.

  • Taskmaster

    Alonso’s PR engine has been working the back story to denigrate Vettel as a driver for 3 years with claims that he (Alonso) is being beaten by a car, coupled with portraying his own battle in romantic terms. It’s been his style for some time, and is intent on establishing himself as superior to any driver in whatever media is willing to play along. It plays on the emotions of the loyal Tifosi, keeping them behind him, even when he struggles. On one hand it’s unnecessary, as he is an excellent driver, perhaps one of the greats. On the other, he cannot afford the wrath of the Italian media and the Tifosi, as they have proven to be particularly brutal when they feel let down. While the after-effect is that all this posturing hurts Vettel’s image, who has no such motives or PR influencers working on his behalf, it’s probably not the underlying motive to influence Vettel’s performance. If it is, he’s wasted a lot of money for nothing, as Vettel’s on track performance seems to have been boosted by the negativity, not hurt by it. Congrats to Vettel for yet another inspired and passionate season.

  • Polar bear

    Vettelnis quick no doubt. He has the entire focus of his team with a genius designer. But sorry he is no champion. Fame and young people don’t mix. It distorts them. This guy is allowed to believe his own hype. He is arrogant, and by hood winking webber (multi21 meant webbers engine was turned down, vettels didnt) lost the respect of all F1 afficianados that may have given him the benefit of the doubt.

    This guy is no Lauda, Senna, or Prost. He has not won the love of the fans … these other champions fought hard (almost died ) for their victories…. Vettel pilots (very well albeit) the fastest car on the grid…. any sport loves champions that struggle and overcome, are human, humble even and people we can identify with. Vettel is none of that.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Everyone in F1 says the same thing about Vettel. Even Webber says that the Red Bull car is awesome. The only person doing PR BS is Mateschitz because he knows that people boo Vettel. He knows people get how much Red Bull cheat, how Vettel stole a win from Webber after Webber did what the team told him to do. It’s Mateschitz who is the PR man. Alonso just says what everyone else inside F1 thinks and says.

  • Gaz_Kirk

    Well said Polar Bear. Vetthell is a spoilt brat.

  • Nj

    Then why webber not winning

  • Izham

    All hail Vettel

  • Gaz_Kirk

    Why could verstappen not win in the same car as schumacher in the 90’s, Verstappen convinced Schumacher’s car was different had traction control when his did not. Could be same deal at red bull. Seb is the chosen one in that team stands to sense he would get better equipment than mark. Just look at Mark’s failures and bad luck compared to vettel. Silverstone 2010 anyone.

  • Gaz_Kirk

    Just winging it. Ha Ha

  • Boycottthebull

    I think Mateschitz is the one trying the psychological stuff not Alonso. Alonso has complimented how he wished he had a car as good as Red Bulls and he was publicly chastise by the big boss at Ferrari. Hardly trash talk. If anything Vettel is a product of their own making with the whole Marko protection regime. There was an article about Vettel in the lower formulas where his teammate would get a faster time in practice then when he went to drive it the next day the car didnt feel as good. So he started jotting down the chassis numbers and discovered whenever he was quicker they would swap chassis with vettels during the middle of the night. This is the culture at Red Bull that still exists to this day where vettel thinks he should be favoured. Webbers cars is basically the same specs and he is fast too but his car doesnt get the quality control and devotion that vettels gets and it shows in their reliability differences. Vettel is also one that has to control the race or will fall over, he hasnt won a race past third on the grid so he is a lap timer not a racer where think Alonso is the better racer. Grosjeans 17th to 3ed this weekend suggests he may be an up and coming racer too.

  • Bob White

    Mateschitz is spot-on about Alonso. Everyone can see it now, even Montezemolo and Domenicali. And, they haven’t created a Frankenstein, they hired one back in 2010 or whatever–Alonso has always been a divisive weasel like he is now, but the case now is “The Samurai Has No Clothes” (to paraphrase the children’s fable).

    Anyone who watched the India race can see he’s simply going to finish the season like the petulant child he is, trying as hard to lose as many points as possible for Ferrari so they finish as far down the Constructors’ list as he can push them. There was no good reason for him to finish outside of the points.

    What a rat. Alonso needs to go to Williams or Marussia for two years or so to get a personality tune-up.

  • The fan

    So this idiot Marlo now thinks the booers are now under Alonso’s influence? He is really entertaining like a beagle isn’t it?
    Seriously, fans are no ignorant people, they boo for a reason. Though I don’t agree with that but to say they are influenced by another driver is purely comedy! And if they are then there’s really wrong with seb’s image for people not to like him not just because Alonso asked them to. Tell this idiot Marlo to drink some red bull so he’ll have the energy to think better! World class idiot!

  • Gaz_Kirk

    When Newey leaves Vettel and Red Bull will lose their wings.

  • Bob White

    If, or when, Newey decides he needs a new challenge (he’s be talking about getting involved in the Americas’ Cup, for example), the loss of his design prowess will surely impede Red Bull’s progress and success.

    But Vettel will still be a champion, and a four-time champion, at that. That is, if he hasn’t managed to rack up more championships by the time Mr. Newey might decide to leave.

    You know, it’s rather telling about a driver’s character when his biography has a section entitled “Controversies”–just like Alonso’s has had for years. Check it out: hxxp://

    There is no similar entry on Vettel’s profile. That’s not to say he’s never made a mistake in judgment or done something he perhaps should not have (in hindsight). But he certainly has no history of doing questionably-legal and unethical things like the laundry list of Alonso’s “achievements” in this area.

    Vettel is the real deal, get over it. He’s passed out people like Alonso in the history of Formula 1 just as he has passed them out on the track, where the proverbial “rubber-meets-the-road.”

  • Taskmaster

    The biggest single difference between Vettel and Senna is that Senna did not have to weather the unfair, unwarranted and disgusting blasts from inter-web dweebs and haters. Senna drove the fastest car on the grid, built by the fastest team, powered by the best engine. His attitudes and arrogance are renowned. Lauda is considered a great, while his record for being an arrogant self centered jerk are well known. They, and many others before, are now greats in the sport, because they had the fortune of living prior to the creation of the poison that social media has become. Schumacher suffers from living on the cusp, his prior accomplishments brought into question by no-nothing half wits blathering insults in hind sight, wearing away at the reputation of the most successful driver of all time. His error in coming back was not risking failure, it was exposing himself to the relentless idiocy of the peanut gallery cheat conspiracy theorists and the half brained imps that lurk here. There will be no future “greats” in F1, simply because the vial trash that is spewed against anyone who dares be a stand out performer, will always darken their achievements, and put into question exemplary accomplishments. Media has made F1 what it is, and it is now tearing it to shreds with publicly broadcast visceral criticism. Rant on and hate all you will, Vettel has accomplished a great deal in one of the most technically restricted, over-regulated periods in F1 history – under the heavily tinted microscope of meaningless, well broadcast opinion and attack – something no other champion before has had to weather. This is a harbinger of what we have to look forward as the future of F1, until it is eventually killed by it.

  • Greg

    When Luca di Montezemolo speaks you take it with a pinch of salt and say whatever. When Dietrich Mateschitz speaks people pay attention because he really is an intelligent man, and he has assessed Alonso perfectly

  • Polar Bear

    Some very astute comments above. Most very wise and seeing through the PR spin. Alonso is a champion and has dragged several under performing cars way up beyond where they belong. To have Alonso and Vettel in be same team would really show true abilities as in the 80’s and 90’s. Red Bull had suckered Webber into believing there were no team orders or a 1,2 hierarchy, which is bs. Webber had not been the focus and in some cases possibly even neglected or knobbled to make sure the chosen Germanic one is prime ( Webber finally woke up and that’s why he left, seeing through the lies and charades) The Germanic influence can’t be denied and indeed even the great Lauda pays homage to the Austrian based team and German driver most likely as he is an Austrian patriot. Webber even though not a world champion is more liked and respected amongst the fans. He is likeable, dry, takes the hits with aplomb, he’s humble even. Again people do recognise the dignity in working and struggling for greatness … Vettel, he is quick if he iis not in the pack. He is quick but more lucky … And pays a great debt to Newly and his red bull Austrian billionaire patron. But this is not the fakery fans will accept. Hence the booing. In terms of ‘greatness’ -which is not just numbers and figures- is Vettel greater than Senna? Stewart? Lauda? These guys were real people, no spin, no PR… Character and actions will always speak louder than words

  • vincent

    @taskmaster- “The biggest single difference between Vettel and Senna is that Senna”. went up against world champions. sorry could not resist.

  • Polar Bear

    @ Vincent, yes and these champions were in the same team even…

  • fools

    I guess when you become a billionaire you get soft… This guy is like Marko…just stop talking.

  • fools

    the whole paddock is complaining on why RB is so fast…Alonso is just the best so everything is put against him to create a rivalry…

    This is getting old. Everyone knows how good Alonso is or why would there be so many people commenting his articles with his name daily? Yet Vettel has no comments….my point again!

  • fools

    “He (Vettel) will only change teams if we no longer build him a competitive car.
    NO SH!T! Exactly what Alonso has been saying…he has the best car! This billionaire is delusional with his own statements! The fact he is even replying for such “mind games” as he says…hes feeding into it more by commenting.

    This man needs to practice what he preaches!

  • vincent

    @polarbear-sorry should of elaborated a little and a better use of grammar but that is exactly the point i was trying to make went up against a world champion in the same car same time.

  • Ajay

    The facts…let me remind all the blabber mouth ferrari fans above that the FACTS here are through out the entire 4 championships, ferrari has used all kinds of stupid mind games and compalints to the FIA about legality of the RBs and they failed.

    The fact remains that Red Bull has dominated the sport now.

    The fact and something no one can take away from him is that Vettel is the 4 time world champion now. Deal with it! All I am seeing is a bunch of whining people trying to say something or the other to discredit the achievement of such a great team.

    Be true Formula 1 fans and learn to appreciate the talent and hard work the RBR team puts in.

    I equally admire a great win from hamilton in any race or a great drive by alonso in the rain in malaysia 2012.. Its all part of the sport.

    Its just at a stage now where all your whining and jealousy is looking disgusting!

    Vettel has proved all his critics wrong with his superb drives in abu dabi last year, brazil 2012 and many more. People keep saying he needs to drive at another team blah blah… but hamilton has always been a mclaren dude and was given the best equipment there and only recently has he moved to Mercedes and why? because he didnt have the best equipment…. he did settle with a great team like mercedes but still isnt performing as well.. and why is that? well of course he is not spoiled or being given the once great car that Mclaren had.

    Its a team work and a unification of man and machine working in sync which brings out the best even when you bring up names like Senna, prost or lauda. THESE ARE HARD FACTS! No one can perform so well consistently for 4 years on top if not for a great driver the the seat of Red Bull that is Vettel. He has now joined the Best of the Best class up there. DEAL WITH IT!

  • Taskmaster

    Vincent… so when Prost is running the winning McLaren from 1984, wins 1985, then runs with Senna head to head for several more seasons on the same winning team, Senna and Prost prove themselves champions and greats. Yet, when Vettel runs against the largest group of modern world champions in F1 history, and wins 4 world titles in a row, for the same team, he’s not? At the time Senna, Lauda, Prost, et al were winning, the rules were significantly more open to innovation and development was on an insane path. So coming out with a dominant car and winning combination of driver and car was often founded on that. In fact, drivers then swapped teams to move from one strong team to what was considered a stronger one to gain advantage – which is how Senna ended up in a Williams. Yet, today, under spec racer rules, crap tires, passing aide gimicks, all designed to tighten competition to make a better show for the rabid fans, and to restrict innovation for cost reasons – succeeding in winning 4X WDC and 4X WCC trophies is not as great? Yeah… got it. Seems backwards to me. Seems today, with a great deal of the car technology wrapped up tight little boxes, the driver is a greater factor than ever – making any winner, including Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, and Raikkonnen, a greater part of the formula than ever in the sport. But hey, you want to believe that Newey somehow accomplishes more under the most stringent rules in F1, compared to McLaren and Williams in the 1980’s, you are certainly welcome to that fantasy…

  • quattro

    “Dietrich Mateschitz has likened Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.”

    I must admit I am really touched by this. Now even the owner of Reddull team itself not only has recognized the greatness of ALO, but is also communicating it to the whole world!!! Great guy!

    I can only agree and admit that even I as a huge ALO fan did not see it this way but it is true – Ali was greatest at boxing, ALO is the greatest at F1. Ali could beat up bigger guys, ALO can beat up (smaller) guys with faster cars. :)

  • Larcxy

    Bob White
    29 October, 2013 at 5:47 pm
    Mateschitz is spot-on about Alonso. Everyone can see it now, even Montezemolo and Domenicali. And, they haven’t created a Frankenstein, they hired one back in 2010 or whatever–Alonso has always been a divisive weasel like he is now, but the case now is “The Samurai Has No Clothes” (to paraphrase the children’s fable).

    Anyone who watched the India race can see he’s simply going to finish the season like the petulant child he is, trying as hard to lose as many points as possible for Ferrari so they finish as far down the Constructors’ list as he can push them. There was no good reason for him to finish outside of the points.

    What a rat. Alonso needs to go to Williams or Marussia for two years or so to get a personality tune-up.

    I would say it is you that needs a personality tune up!!

    Trying hard to lose as many points as possible for Ferrari – what an unbelievably ridiculous statement. Perhaps you should try driving an F1 car with damaged steering.

    Meanwhile back on planet earth…….wonder why in the F1 paddock Fernando is the driver all the Team Managers want on their team :)

  • manila

    Was lewis in a faster car?

  • vincent

    taskmaster- i agree with a lot of what you say but until the boy vettle goes up against a world champ in SAME MACHINERY be it at redbull or elsewhere the jury is still out like i said the differences between vettle and senna are more than you maybe care to mention. and this is one of the question people will always ask until it is put to bed. another difference senna did not leave behind any doubters he answered most if not all questions and if vettle ever decides to match himself against the as you put it” the largest group of modern world champions in F1 history”. he’s not short of options or time then my doubts will be removed. just my opinion and if that makes me rabid fan or a fantasist i can deal with that.

  • Horner

    @Greg: I suppose Masterschitz is intelligent enough to repackage caffeine and sugar as a fizzy drink and sell it to those yobs that keep leaving their empty cans on public places. Fortunately, not a cent of my money has gone to buy that crap.

  • Alonso_is_slow

    Alonso has only ever raced against one champion, Hamilton, and he was beaten by Hamilton. More alarmingly, he was also beaten by others in previous cars…

    More than that, none of the current Nr 1 drivers were beaten 4 times in a row by their teammates in qualifying.

    Alonso is not superior to any current N1 driver, he has never shown any kind of performance to confirm that. All he did was steal resources from his teammates and request team orders.

    But this does not need to be said anymore…Raikkonen will make him Nr 2 soon, and this thread will be 2-3 comments long.

    Can wait for that.

  • Ukwhite

    @Polar bear: Just drop this multi 21, be a man not a kid. That is racing, it took a few laps to pass Webber, best racing in years in F1. My hat off for Webber for fighting hard, but let’s admit his character stinks. Vettel was great, the only upsetting thing was his hesitation instead of being frank telling the reason he was fighting Webber: Brasil 2012.

  • Ukwhite

    A successful man as Dietrich should be listened, he does not talk too much usually. And his worlwide sponsorship requires respect.

    He talks sense, not everbody likes Alonso to be blinded by his gimmicks. Alonso personality is prone to dirty politics, it is in his blood. A mediocre intelect that cannot articulate stories, ideas or some intelectual stuff on podium, he resort to foxy and dirty means.

    Watch Masa by the end of championship, he has nothing to lose,that may prove something…

  • Hugomac

    Vettel Fans Are Delusional!!
    Better than Senna you must be kidding….
    When he goes to another team (non-Newey)
    We’ll see how ordinary he really is & he’ll carry on like a spoilt
    Child, finishing in 6th or 10th. Then his 4 championships will mean nothing in F1 history.
    Don’t worry guys when the dust settles Vettel will be known as someone who was in the right car at the right time, he’ ll make sure he never has a great teammate that’ll prove how mediocre he really is….

  • Ukwhite

    @Hugomat: Things are relative, including your statements. Don’t believe any of us, but try starting give whatever to what reputable people in F1 say about Senna and Vettel. Some if them that raced against Senna du believe Vettel is a notch better. Relative of course… If have not seen greatness in Seb, youl never see it, that is wired in everybody brains. But you know what, your wiring may be wrong. Again, relative…

  • farizY

    I see a lot of comments saying Vettel has the best equipment. Well of course, name me one champion, who did not have the best equipment?

    Even if Vettel broke MSC record, haters will still hate. Just look at MSC haters. Makes me sick.

  • haha


    JUST LOOK AT THIS: h(xx)p://

    No other driver has a category dedicated to cheating!

  • Johan Pieterse

    Hamilton, Webber and Alonso all suffer from megalomaniacal personalities that rapidly morphs into childish petulance as they continue to be outclassed by Vettel, superbly supported by his team. And this has happened for four years in a row so far, soon to be repeated for four more years, mark my words.

    And greats like Moss, Lauda, Berger, Schumacher (to list just a few) all heartily agree.

  • Maserati123

    I will never recognize Red Bull’s or Vettals’s championships until Red Bull provide a legal F1 car