Red Bull have had a successful thirteen seasons in Formula One. They’ve taken four drivers’ and four Constructors’ titles, and now – with arguably the strongest driver line-up on the grid – the team look to challenge for the championship again in 2018.
|First F1 Appearance||2005 Australian Grand Prix|
|Team Principal||Christian Horner|
Red Bull were the cool new kids on the block when they arrived on the grid in 2005, having bought out the Jaguar team in November 2004. The team’s origins are actually that of the Stewart Grand Prix team, who won one Grand Prix during their time in F1 between 1997 and 1999. The team was then bought by Jaguar, who competed in F1 for five seasons, until they were bought by the Austrian company, Red Bull. The fizzy drinks company had previously sponsored the Sauber team for ten years.
Christian Horner signed up experienced hand David Coulthard for their first season and the second seat was shared between two young drivers, Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi. They scored more points in their first two races than the Jaguar team did over the whole 2004 season, and were frequent points scorers throughout the year on their way to seventh in the championship. Coulthard scored the team’s first podium in 2006, memorably wearing a superman cape on the podium. Adrian Newey joined the team for 2007, along with former Williams driver Mark Webber, who took a podium at the European Grand Prix. In 2008, Coulthard finished on the podium in Canada before retiring from the sport at the end of the season, as Red Bull slipped down the order in the Constructors’ Championship. Sebastian Vettel, who had impressed at the junior Toro Rosso team, joined for 2009 and the car was good enough to challenge for the title. Vettel took the team’s first pole and win in China, while Webber scored his first victory at the German Grand Prix. The team dominated the latter part of the season, eventually finishing runners up to Brawn GP.
For the next four seasons, Vettel and the Red Bull car was unstoppable. Vettel took his first title in 2010, in an epic four way title decider at the final round of the season. He dominated throughout 2011 as the team took every pole position bar one. In 2012, title success was harder to come by but Vettel managed to triumph over Fernando Alonso in a chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix. For 2013, Red Bull had new rivals in Mercedes, but dominated the second half of the season with Vettel winning an unprecedented nine races in a row. In the early part of the season, Red Bull made headlines when Vettel refused to follow team orders to stay behind his team-mate at the Malaysia Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo was brought in for the 2014 season as Webber retired, impressively out-performing four-time champion Vettel throughout much of the season. He won three races over the course of the season but the Renault power unit struggled at the dawn of the V6 era, putting them out of genuine title contention against the dominant Mercedes team. Vettel moved to pastures new to be replaced by Daniil Kvyat in 2015. The team scored a double podium in Hungary, but ended the year win-less for the first time since 2008.
Controversy followed in 2016 as Kvyat was dropped from the team after poor form and a crash in the Russian Grand Prix. It turned out to be an inspired decision though, as Max Verstappen stepped up from the junior team and won on his début for Red Bull. Ricciardo would go on to take his first win in over two years at the Malaysian round. The team finished runners up in the championship.
The beginning of 2017 was worrying for Red Bull, as they found themselves in a land of their own between the leading pair of Mercedes and Ferrari, and ahead of the rest of the chasing pack. An aerodynamic overhaul of the cars was supposed to play into the hands of the team, but reliability woes saw the team finish with both cars on very few occasions throughout the year. Baku was somewhat of a turning point, as the team scooped their first win of the year with Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian took nine of the team’s thirteen podiums, as Max Verstappen took the brunt of the team’s engine woes. In the second half of the season, Red Bull were much more competitive. While still struggling with reliability issues, they were on par with Mercedes and Ferrari and snatched two victories courtesy of Verstappen.
Determined to not be another season of what ifs, Red Bull set an earlier completion date for the RB14, hoping that will make the difference between them being occasional winners to once again being championship challengers from the very beginning of the season. The team has a new title sponsor this year in Aston Martin. Keeping their two well matched drivers on good terms will be critical to moving the team up the grid in 2018.
RED BULL’S RECENT F1 HISTORY
|2010||1st (498 points)||9||15||Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber|
|2011||1st (650 points)||12||18||Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber|
|2012||1st (460 points)||7||8||Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber|
|2013||1st (596 points)||13||11||Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber|
|2014||2nd (405 points)||3||0||Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo|
|2015||4th (187 points)||0||0||Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat|
|2016||2nd (468 points)||2||1||Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Daniil Kvyat|
|2017||3rd (368 points)||3||0||Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen|
|2018||Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen|