Mateschitz: We have the highest expectations this year

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has expressed his confidence heading into the 2020 Formula 1 season, expecting his team to compete for the world championship.

The Austrian energy drinks mogul, who is celebrating 16 years in the sport in 2020, is playing a very upbeat tune after getting his hands on the offseason data.

“Compared to previous years, we clearly have the highest expectations this year,” he told Speedweek. “All the data from the computer and the wind tunnel is better than last year and we are confident that this will be reflected on the track. That means we can hope to compete for the world championship.”

Long considered to have one of the best chassis on the grid with Adrian Newey in the designer’s chair, the V6 hybrid turbo era has seen Red Bull unable to compete with front-runners Mercedes on engine performance or reliability. Now with his team entering its second year with Honda, Mateschitz expects those problems to be a thing of the past.

“Our engine partner Honda did an excellent job in the winter. We managed kilometres on the test stand like never before — about 5000 without any problems. The engine enables us to compete at the front in terms of performance and reliability,” he said.

As to the question of his company’s continued involvement in the sport past 2020, Mateschitz says he expects to be around for a long time to come, even if he is yet to put pen to paper.

“It’s just a matter of writing the details. I don’t expect any problems. There’s no time pressure. We’ve driven a period without a base contract before. But everything is ready to be signed.”

Similarly, he expects the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg to keep its place on the F1 calendar.

“A project like this is intended to be long-term. Last year we extended MotoGP by five years. Chase Carey is happy to be with us and wants to continue the Austrian GP. So it will not be a big problem to extend.”