Sebastian Vettel will return to his Formula 1 roots this weekend at the Mexico City GP, as he will sport a Red Bull design on his helmet.
The livery is a tribute to Dietrich Mateschitz, the Red Bull founder and co-owner who passed away last weekend.
Vettel spent two years competing for Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior team, at the start of his F1 career before being promoted to the sister squad at the start of the 2009 campaign.
The German went on to take four consecutive World Championships and establish himself as one of the most successful drivers in F1 history.
He then left to join Ferrari for several seasons, before joining Aston Martin in 2021.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of the race weekend from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez, Vettel paid tribute to Mateschitz.
“I think the impact that Red Bull had on the grid in the last 15 years has been outstanding and probably unprecedented,” he said.
“I think Dietrich, to me, we had a very good relationship and what I really appreciate today is that it was always eye level, even though he was far more experienced and knowledgeable than I was, especially early on.
“It’s been a real shock, last week, to hear the news and a massive, massive loss. To me he’s been a great inspiration because he’s always been himself.
“So many things happened and evolved in his life and got so big around him but it is really his creative mind probably shaped that path and shaped that path until the very end.
“So it will be a huge loss for the Red Bull family, not just for racing, all of us in Formula 1, with the impact of two teams on the grid and the drivers like I said, but I think, speaking for so many other sports where the brand, Red Bull, had such a huge impact and helped kids, girls, boys, men, women along the way and helped them to chase their dreams.
“It’s all down to Dietrich and the idea that he had in his head, what he wanted to do with this brand and that’s what he created.
“It is a very, very big loss and everybody who had the privilege to get to know him and be with him again, echoing a lot of what Daniel said, extremely humble, kind and just a good and big heart.”