Max Verstappen breaks silence after Red Bull boss’s death at 78

Max Verstappen paid tribute to Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, who has sadly passed away aged 78, after qualifying for the United States Grand Prix on Saturday. Verstappen will start second on the grid on Sunday due to Charles Leclerc’s suspension after finishing behind Carlos Sainz and his Ferrari teammate at the Circuit of the Americas.

Mateschitz’s death was confirmed less than a year before qualifying began in Austin, Texas, with Red Bull poised to seal its first Constructors’ Championship since 2013. Verstappen has already secured back-to-back world titles, making it official with his dominant Japanese . Grand Prix victory.

However, the Dutchman was unable to get past Sainz and Leclerc in qualifying and will start Sunday’s race behind the first on the grid. Verstappen later broke his silence on the Mateschitz loss, telling Sky Sports that he would “give it everything” to achieve a record victory this weekend.

He said: “Yeah, I mean, it’s been hard news, I think, for everyone. I think what it’s meant for Red Bull and the sport, what it’s done for me and my life so far… it’s really hard. “. It’s a very tough day and we tried to give it our all in qualifying today. Of course, we missed it today, but we’re going to try to give it everything tomorrow.”

JUST IN: Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz dies at 78 after Verstappen win

Mateschitz co-founded Red Bull in the 1980s and made the groundbreaking move to create his own F1 team in 2005. Red Bull dominated the grid five years later, winning four consecutive Constructors’ Championship titles from 2010 to 2013 with Sebastian Vettel and Mark . Webber.

After a long sleep, Red Bull rose again in 2021 when Verstappen dethroned Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings. And despite Mercedes winning the constructors’ crown for the eighth successive season, Red Bull is hoping to be named the new champion this weekend.

READ MORE: Toto Wolff sends clear message to FIA about ‘awarding’ 2021 Hamilton title

Reacting to the sad news of Mateschitz’s passing just before qualifying began, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner paid tribute to the Austrian. “Look, he is very, very sad. What a great man. He is unique, what he accomplished and what he has done for so many people all over the world in different sports. It is second to none,” explained an emotional Horner.

“Many of us have to be very grateful to him for the opportunities he gave us, the vision he had, the strength of character and never being afraid to chase your dreams. That’s what he did here in Formula One, showing that you are he can make a difference. We’re incredibly grateful for him.”

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