Red Bull Racing appeared as a team in Formula One in 2005 and the 2012 Brazilian GP saw Sebastian Vettel crowned triple world champion, with the team securing their third constructors’ championship in a row at Abu Dhabi. Their first few years competing were fairly low profile until 2009 when they got right involved in the championship fight. Since then they have only gone onwards and upwards. This week’s Scrutineering takes a look at the multi-world championship winning team, their season and includes some fan views!
The Beginning (2005)
After purchasing the Jaguar Racing Team and installing Christian Horner as Team Principal, Red Bull Racing made their first appearance in Formula One in 2005. Having previously had an association with Sauber, this was their first foray into the sport as a team and they employed experienced David Coulthard, who was departing McLaren, to partner young drivers Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi, and used Cosworth engines. Coulthard took two fourth places on the way to seventh place in the constructors’ championship. Klien drove the majority of the season alongside Coulthard but was replaced by Liuzzi for four races. At the end of 2005 the team got engineer Adrian Newey on board.
Coulthard’s time (2006 – 2008)
Coulthard continued with the team for 2006, being partnered once again by Klien, who was replaced for the final three races of the year with Robert Doornbos. For 2006 the team ran Ferrari engines, having previously used Cosworth. That year Coulthard scored the team’s first podium, taking it at the Monaco GP where they were supporting the film Superman Returns. This resulted in Coulthard wearing a Superman cape onto the podium, and later Horner jumped into the swimming pool wearing only the cape as a result of him saying he would jump in naked if either of the cars got on the podium. Jumping into the pool has now become somewhat of a Red Bull tradition, albeit it is now generally fully clothed. The team finished in seventh place once again in 2006.
In 2007 Red Bull started their association, which continues today, with Renault by using their engines. Australian Mark Webber was brought in from Williams to partner Coulthard and the pair had varying results, but eventually finished the year in an improved fifth place in the championship. Webber took his first podium for the team at the European round of the championship.
2008 proved to be Coulthard’s last year in Formula One and he took one final podium, this time in Canada, before retiring after Brazil. That proved to be his only points scoring race of the season, with Webber having a better year but finishing no higher than fourth. The team finished the season back down in seventh place.
Enter Vettel (2009 – present)
In 2009 there was a raft of regulation changes which saw usual frontrunners Ferrari and McLaren slip back, and newly formed Brawn GP, who had filled the spot left by Honda, along with Red Bull rose to the top. After Coulthard’s retirement, the team graduated Sebastian Vettel from their sister team Toro Ross. He and Webber were involved in the title fight with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, who drove for Brawn GP, and secured a number of wins between the pair of them. Red Bull’s first win came at the Bahrain GP, which Vettel won, and was backed up by a further three for Vettel and two for Webber. The team ended up second in the championship with 153.5 points.
2010 was when the dominance started. Both drivers were still in the championship hunt going into the final race but it was Vettel who came out victorious, leading the championship when it counted most – at the end. Between Webber and Vettel the team won nine of the season’s 19 races and had 11 further podium finishes. The team won the constructors’ championship with 498 points to McLaren’s 454.
2011 proved to be the most dominating season Red Bull have had with twelve out of nineteen races resulting in victories along with fifteen other podiums. Vettel started on pole position for fifteen of the nineteen races while Webber had three of the other four. It was a dominating season indeed for the team based in Milton Keynes and unsurprisingly they clinched their second constructors’ world championship (along with another drivers’ championship for Vettel) with 650 points to McLaren’s 497.
It wasn’t so straightforward for the team in 2012, however. Their first win came in Bahrain, four races in, with McLaren seemingly dominating the year, while Webber repeated his 2010 feat of winning the Monaco GP (resulting in more pool jumping!). It wasn’t until Singapore, when Vettel won his second race of the year, that a hint of dominance returned as he won the next three consecutively. By the time the inaugural race at the Circuit of The Americas arrived, Red Bull only needed four points to wrap up their third constructors’ championship in a row, which they duly did, with Vettel clinching the drivers’ title after a dramatic Brazilian GP.
Formula One Statistics
What the fans say and think!
Here’s how some people summed up Red Bull Racing in just a word:
- (the) best
- (annoyingly) dominant
- Sebastian (Vettel)
And other fan views, thoughts and things they like:
- What they have achieved in the past three years is amazing
- They have the best designer – Adrian Newey
- They are an innovative team
- “I like Sebastian”
- Mark Webber
- When they wore capes in Monaco and when the pit crew dressed up as clone troopers for Star Wars
- Their swimming pool antics in Monaco