Red Bull, The story. (Originally written for the Red Bull special edition of @F1fansmag)
Red Bull Racing. “4 Times Constructors World Champions” have come a long way in 10 years in F1 and have achieved more than even they could have imagined.
I cannot forget the Picture of the Jaguar F1 team and staff with the big FOR SALE signs above their heads at the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix, The story was that Ford Motor Company could no longer afford F1 and didn’t feel that it promoted the brand well enough with its poor results to date. The team was duly put up for sale and without a buyer 100’s of staff & mechanics would have been out of a job.
Along came a knight in shining armour - Dietrich Mateschitz and his Red Bull energy drinks brand, they purchased the team as a going concern and securing the jobs of 100’s of staff at Milton Keynes.
The first year was 2005. With a car developed under the guise of the previous management, it was called the RB1 and was driven by David Coulthard, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien. The team however quickly gained a reputation for being the party team in the paddock who concentrated more on having fun than getting the best out of the car.
The team bought some Hollywood glamour to F1 with a couple of Movie sponsorship tie-ins at the Monaco Grand Prix. One year the team donned capes for the promotion of the Superman Returns film, another saw the pit crew dressed as storm troopers for a Star Wars promotion.
This however was soon to change by making arguably the biggest signing, that of adrian newey to put together a team to design and build the future cars. This was a clear statement of intent and a line in the sand for the team, that they weren’t there just to make up the numbers, or indeed just to have a good party!
Coulthard scored the first podium at Monaco in 2006. A memorable event for the team as it resulted in a forfeit for team principal Christian Horner who had jump in the swimming pool naked, with just a red superman cape to hide his modesty!
The Red Bull team continued to make progress and moved to Renault engines for the 2007 season which was to mark the start of a great and very close relationship.
2009 was the breakthrough year for Red Bull, with the new regulations allowing them to close and overtake their more established rivals. They produced the fastest non double diffuser shod car and delivered their first race in win in true style at a wet Chinese Grand Prix with Vettel winning and Mark webber following in 2nd place.
As the wins started to chalk up, the stakes got higher and the in team tensions rose between the drivers. We’ve seen a crash in Turkey in 2010, The front wing debacle of Britain in 2010 and most recently the Multi 21 affair in Malaysia of this year.
2010, 2011, 2012 and now 2013 have all delivered Drivers and Constructors world championship trophies for the team which has taken a clean sweep of titles in 4 years of its 9 year history. An incredible stat indeed!
With Sebastian Vettel still young and growing as a champion and a competitor, arguably getting better every year, there is no sign that this trend is going to stop any time soon. This is a truly amazing story that is now etched into the Formula One history books.