Red Bull drinks its health while car makers struggle

Red Bull empresario Dietrich Mateschitz has said that the drinks brand remains in considerable health despite the global financial crisis. The news strikes a drastic comparison with the fortunes of the car manufacturers, all of whose involvement in F1 has been in question since the economic problems began.

The company revealed to the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten that it sold more cans of Red Bull in 2008 than ever before and plans to expand in the coming year.

Mateschitz, who holds 49 percent of shares in Red Bull, is nevertheless appreciative of proposed cost cuts for his F1 teams Red Bull and Toro Rosso because revenue from the drink is forecast to slow to just 3-5 per cent growth in 2009. Cost cuts would improve the situation, and presumably also delay the planned sale of Toro Rosso.

“For both teams we can save 100 million euros,” Mateschitz told the newspaper.

Red Bull’s RB5 is due to be launched on Monday and remains a dark horse for wins in the upcoming season. Driver Mark Webber’s recovery from his cycling accident injuries is reported by the BBC to be ahead of schedule.