Austrian energy drink maker Red Bull has angered Niki Laudo, after whom one of the turns at the scene of this year’s race for the Austrian Grand Prix was named. The racetrack, once known as the A1-Ring, has been completely refurbished, and next month, for the first time since 2003, a Formula One caravan will return.
Before the racetrack was bought by Red Bull, which also owns two Formula One teams, one of the turns was called Niki Lauda Kurve (Niki Lauda Turn), in honor of the Austrian racer and three-time world champion. Now this same bend is called Pirelli. Lauda, however, is not the only Austrian racer left without "his" turn, as Gerhard Berger's Bend has now been renamed the Wurth Bend.
“I’m very disappointed,” Lauda said. “I guess they did it just because I’m at Mercedes now and we beat Red Bull together,” he added.
Red Bull names the bends after various companies, thus securing the sponsorship money it spends to run the track. Jochen Rindt also got his turn posthumously at the former A1 Ring racetrack. The name also remained on the new version of the racetrack, but in the event that any of the advertisers offers a large enough amount, the name will also be changed.
“For the penalty, we at Mercedes in Spielberg will be happy to celebrate a double victory,” said the angry Lauda.
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