JANUARY 16, 2017
Mateschitz undecided over F1 shares
Dietrich Mateschitz says he is yet to decide if he will accept Liberty's offer and buy shares in formula one.
"I honestly don't know if I should buy shares," the 72-year-old Austrian, who is the owner of Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, told Speed Week.
"On the one hand it is obvious, because formula one also needs owners who are not carmakers.
"On the other, the value depends on the teams that commit. We will have to see how it looks after the expiry (in 2020) of the current contracts," the billionaire added. "This will probably begin to be negotiated soon."
Asked if he has met already with F1's new chief Chase Carey, Mateschitz answered: "Not yet, but Chase will be with Bernie Ecclestone at the skiing world cup in Kitzbuhel next week, so we'll talk then."
As for what they'll talk about, he answered: "The popularity of formula one depends on competition at the front. A fight for third and fourth is not good enough.
"The cars have to become better, which has already been initiated for 2017," he added. "The many stupid penalties for drivers are not understood by the fans."
Asked if F1 supremo Ecclestone has a future in the Liberty era, Mateschitz said: "If they are wise, they will keep him.
"Someone who believes that you can't get around in formula one without Bernie is well advised."
On the future of the Austrian grand prix, Mateschitz admitted the Red Bull Ring made a loss in 2016, while the running of MotoGP is "cost effective".
But he said: "I'm sure that if Red Bull Racing is in the lead in 2017, then we'll have 70,000 spectators on Sunday instead of 50,000."
And finally, when asked if the almost 74-year-old Helmut Marko still has a long future in F1, Mateschitz laughed: "Helmut recently got a new knee.
"Now he's jumping like a young horse once again!"