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No Top Gear style stunt for Red Bull

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Kitzbuhel: Max Verstappen. Photo: Red Bull
19:58 CET+01:00
The first attempt to send a Formula One car along one of the world's most dangerous ski pistes might also be the last after organisers Red Bull were told they faced a fine.

Red Bull said they wanted the 'King of the Motorsports' to meet the 'King of the Winter Sports' and as a result decided to send a Red Bull F1 car driven by Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen onto the piste.

Video footage taken last Thursday showed him attempting to navigate around a section of one of the most world-famous ski slopes located in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

The stunt which was put on for the crowds ahead of the Hahnenkamm-Rennen ski races involved the 800-hp RWD Red Bull RB7 attempting to navigate on pure snow.

And although clearly not designed for the conditions, with the addition of snow chains it made an impressive job of trying.



The 2011 RB7 vehicle was taken to the ski area by helicopter, after having previously been used battling 35 degrees Celsius heat in Australia.

Engineers working to get it ready said one of the main challenges was getting it ready for the extreme cold. The team remapped the engine for improved throttle control and added the set of specially built snow chains to give it a fighting chance in the snow.

But taking an ultralight race car up and down a snow-covered slope failed to impress authorities, who complained that organisers did not have a permit from the nature protection authorities and therefore it should not have been allowed.

Local council leader Michael Berger said that as a result an investigation had been launched, and Red Bull could expect a fine for the stunt.

Local tourism chief Gerhard Walter said that the ski race and resort needed no extra publicity as it was already famous enough, but added that stunts by companies to promote their own interests were just part of the show. Red Bull is keen to promote Formula One in Austria ahead of the upcoming season and skiing is almost a religion in the Alpine republic.

Local PR agency promoter Mirjam Hummel said that she had been informed what was planned but did not believe the famous Austrian ski resort needed any extra promotion to make it any more famous than it always was, but nevertheless she said she enjoyed the show.

She said: "Nevertheless, if a partner or sponsor wants to do something like this and to promote it, then of course we're happy."

Red Bull declined to comment on whether they would be repeating the stunt when asked by local media, but did say that as far as they were concerned everything had been properly organised, including the needed permissions.

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Story courtesy of Central European News

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