Principal: Christian Horner
|First Race||Australian Grand Prix Mar 6th 2005|
|Last Race||Spanish F1 GP May 12th 2013|
|First Pole||Chinese Grand Prix Apr 19th 2009|
|Last Pole||Australian F1 GP Mar 17th 2013|
|First Win||Chinese Grand Prix Apr 19th 2009|
|Last Win||Bahrain F1 GP Apr 21st 2013|
|First Podium||Monaco Grand Prix May 28th 2006|
|Last Podium||Bahrain F1 GP Apr 21st 2013|
Helmet of Sebastian Vettel
Helmet of Mark Webber
Three consecutive world championships and some hefty financial backing have made Red Bull Racing a powerful addition to the formula one grid since their induction in 2005. The controversial move from energy drinks manufacturers Red Bull to purchase a racing team may not have won them many hearts but in the subsequent years they have earned everyone’s respect and nowadays, fear.
Red Bull has displaced Ferrari as the most envied team on the gird. They have the most sought after car designer, Adrian Newey, and the most sought after young driver, Sebastian Vettel. In three seasons this potent combination has delivered a back-to-back-to-back world championship run, and they promise their dominance is only just starting.
After purchasing the Jaguar team in September 2004 the team drew up plans to rapidly rise to the front of the grid, although this unlikely as Ferrari dominated the sport and had just won five straight world titles. However the experienced David Coulthard and protégée Christian Klein guided the team to an impressive sixth place finish in the constructor’s standings in their first season. Coulthard, a multiple race winner at McLaren, then claimed the team’s first podium finish at Monaco a year later. After proclaiming beforehand that he would jump into the swimming pool naked had one of his cars claimed a podium, team boss Christian Horner kept to his word.
In 2007 the team signed experienced Australian Mark Webber to drive alongside Coulthard, with the aim that he would partner Coulthard’s eventual replacement who would be selected from Red Bull’s junior team Torro Rosso. Torro Rosso serves as a driving apprenticeship for young drivers who, if good enough, will progress to Red Bull. The team showed slow progression by coming 5th in the championship that season, and in Mark Webber they had found a perfect second driver who competed hard with Coulthard.
In 2008 the team suffered the embarrassment of their sister team Torro Rosso claiming a race win before they did, as the hot young prospect Sebastian Vettel romped home to win at Monza. Coulthard and Webber improved in terms of points in 2008, but not in position and dropped back to a disappointing 7th. As DC retired, the young Vettel joined Webber at the main team and took the team’s first ever race victory in the season’s third race, China. With the poor cars produced by major teams Ferrari and McLaren, Red Bull found themselves with one of the fastest cars on the grid.
Consistent podiums for Vettel followed and although the car wasn’t on pace terms with the Brawn, he managed to win the British grands prix later that season. This triggered a superb run to the end of the season as Vettel racked up further victories in Japan and Abu Dhabi, while Mark Webber won the first races of his career in Germany and Brazil. Red Bull came second in the championship and the following season they produced an even finer car, the shift of power in the sport was swinging Red Bull’s way.
After a dramatic topsy-turvy season Vettel won his maiden world championship, claiming five wins along the way. In a tight contest he narrowly beat his team mate Webber, who finished third place with four wins. Vettel destroyed the field the next season to defend his championship by over 100 points in the totally dominant RB7 car. The RB8 in 2012 was less dominant and the duo struggled in the early rounds of the season. However Newey’s designing brilliance and Rec Bull’s development speed soon provided Vettel with the platform to hunt down Alonso’s Ferrari and successfully defend the title again.
Red Bull are still very much a team progressing, and it will take many years to create the fan base and history of the likes of Ferrari. But with their superb drivers, successful youth system and the genius of Adrian Newey, they have very chance of emulating the Italian giants. Red Bull and Vettel will be attempting to win a fourth straight title in 2013, and few will bet against them.