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Todt admits ‘admiration’ for Red Bull’s Mateschitz

FIA president Jean Todt has revealed a “great admiration” for Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz.

Although with a relatively hands-off role personally, Austrian billionaire Mateschitz’s main F1 team secured the drivers’ and constructors’ titles last season, just six years after taking over struggling Jaguar.

At the pinnacle of motor racing and against industry stalwarts including Ferrari and McLaren, and after carmaker giants including BMW and Toyota gave up on the road to success, energy drink Red Bull’s 2010 achievement was unique.

“I have great admiration for him,” Todt said when asked about Mateschitz on a visit to Vienna.

“He is a sports fanatic, especially motor sports,” the Frenchman told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

“When he started (in F1), many didn’t think he could be so successful, but he has shown what can be done with enthusiasm, energy and dedication,” added Todt.

When asked about the forthcoming 2011 season, the FIA president summarised: “We will have the longest ever season with new rules and tyres and a grand prix in India.

“It is all very open and interesting, but I won’t talk about the favourites,” smiled Todt.