Red Bull Racing leaves favourite drink at home

Red Bull has decided to switch to other beverages at this weekend’s Formula One (F1) Grand Prix of Yeongam as the company’s trademark energy drink has not yet been introduced in South Korea.Red Bull Racing announced today (Fri) crew members and drivers – Australian Mark Webber and German Sebastian Vettel – will not be served the energy drink as company chiefs are currently still trying to obtain a licence to sell it in the Asian country. The team’s alternative drink of choice for the weekend has not been revealed.Both Webber and Vettel have chances to win the title this season. The 34-year-old Australian currently has the lead in the championship with 220 points ahead of Ferrari pilot Fernando Alonso from Spain and Vettel (both 206). McLaren pilot Lewis Hamilton, who won the 2008 championship, is in fourth with 192 points.The race on Sunday (8am Central European Time, live on ORF 1) will be the first ever F1 Grand Prix in South Korea.Salzburg-based Red Bull sold almost four billion cans of its trademark drink last year. The company sponsors extreme sport athletes as well as World Cup skiers like US American Lindsey Vonn. It also manages football clubs in Europe (Red Bull Salzburg, RB Leipzig) and America (New York Red Bulls) as well as youth football academies in Ghana and Brazil.The company came under pressure in Sweden last year when 80 per cent of school nurses working in the country interviewed in a poll said they were in favour of a nationwide age limit for energy drinks like Red Bull.There is currently no general age limit for the purchase of beverages in the country, but several supermarket chains including Pressbyran, 7-Eleven and Willys set up their own limits.Erwin Bindreiter, headmaster of the Hauptschule (comprehensive school) in St. Georgen am Walde, Upper Austria, explained ahead of the 2009/2010 school year energy drinks were henceforth to be banned from the school premises. Bindreiter stressed he had been backed by parents in the decision.”We noticed some students carried an energy-drink can throughout the day,” the headmaster said. Bindreiter claimed many of these pupils have been “significantly less focused in class and fidgety”.Red Bull, which is headed by billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, was listed in 82nd place in market research agency Millward Brown’s 2010 study of the most powerful firm brands in the world.