Red Bull has emerged in the modern era as a major sponsor of motor racing. It runs two teams in Formula One and sponsors more cars, teams and drivers than we’d care to count in a wide array of motorsport disciplines. But it won’t sponsor a single car this year in DTM.
The Austrian energy drink company has backed drivers in Germany’s popular touring-car series since 2001. Former champion Mattias Ekström has arguably been chief among them, running with Red Bull sponsorship since 2002. But with the Swedish driver leaving the series, Autosport reports that Red Bull is departing, too.
That means that BMW driver Marco Wittmann will compete without the beverage purveyor’s now-iconic livery, his M4 DTM bearing the Bavarian automaker’s equally recognizable colors instead.
It’s a “time-out but not a complete withdrawal,” a Red Bull spokesman told Autosport. “At the end of the year, when the future of DTM is clear, we will re-evaluate the situation.”
Another Austrian drink brand, BWT (Best Water Technology) has also pulled out of the series. It sponsored Mercedes drivers Lucas Auer and Edoardo Mortara last season, but won’t return this year. It will, however, continue to sponsor the Force India team in F1, Arden in F2 and Lechner in the Porsche Supercup.