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F1: Dietrich Mateschitz has invested ''millions'' of his personal fortune in the Red Bull Ring

From GMM

Since buying the defunct A1-Ring in 2004, Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz has ploughed a quarter of a billion euros into the Austrian grand prix, the local Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper claims.

"Millions more of his personal fortune," read the report, "he invested in local infrastructure, such as hotels."

While most have hailed the success of the impressive new 'Red Bull Ring', many say the traffic chaos so far this weekend has been a palpable downer.

But FIA president Jean Todt insists: "You have to acknowledge what Dietrich Mateschitz has done (for the sport): two teams, a great track.

"Because he's a perfectionist, the Austrian grand prix will also be perfect," he added.

Austria F1
Photo: WRi2

Even so, not everyone is magnanimous. Mercedes, whose bookings at a newly Mateschitz-owned local hotel were reportedly cancelled just a few weeks ago, is not exactly playing ball.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have steadfastly refused to call the circuit in Spielberg by its official energy drink-sounding name.

And Mercedes-Benz advertising hoardings near the Red Bull Ring feature the sole word 'Heimspielberg', meaning 'Home-game Spielberg' -- undoubtedly a cheeky fly-in-the-ointment of Red Bull's PR masterstroke.

"That's Mercedes' style," said a sardonic Dr Helmut Marko.