Red Bull Racing
|Based in: Milton Keynes, UK|
Founded: 2005 (active since 2005)
Sporting director: Christian Horner (since 2005)
Technical operations director: Günther Steiner (2006)
Technical director: Mark Smith (2006), Geoff Willis (2007), Pierre Waché (since 2018)
Chief technical officer: Adrian Newey (since 2006)
Chief designer: Rob Taylor (2006), Rob Marshall (since 2007)
Chief aerodynamics: Ben Agathangelou (2005-2006), Peter Prodromou (2006-2014), Dan Fallows (since 2014)
Chief engineer: Pierre Wache (2013-2017), Dan Fallows (since 2014), Paul Monaghan (since 2013)
After several poor years for Jaguar in F1, Ford sold the team to Austrian drink company Red Bull. Ford had been cutting jobs all over the world and did not find it responsible to keep pumping money in a non performing F1 project.
Red Bull owner Mateschitz had all his reasons to buy a Formula One team. At first there have been many drivers sponsored by Red Bull who eventually aim to go to Formula One. The drink company could however not promise anything of that, but with the purchase of a team they are offering young drivers a path from the very beginning to the top of motorsport.
After some discussions between the former management of Jaguar (which had been retained), Mateschitz fired both Purnell and Pitchforth and assigned Arden International Formula 3000 team boss Christian Horner to run the F1 show. RBR started its first season with David Coulthard and a rotating second racing seat shared by Klien and Liuzzi, both Red Bull backed drivers. Shod on Michelin tires and powered by a Cosworth engine, the team put down a better result (by getting more points) in its maiden year than Jaguar was able to in all its years it had been in Formula One.
The second year proved a little troublesome as the Red Bull RB2 was not quite as good as the car from 2005. Although the Ferrari engines were powerful the car seemingly could not extract its full potential. The beginning of the season proved especially difficult as the car suffered cooling issues. As development fell behind, the team were always running after the facts in 2006.
2007 was destined to be a major improvement for the team, and in fact it was performance wise. The Adrian Newey designed RB3 suffered a serious lack of reliability despite the extremely reliable Renault engine. More specifically, the Red Bull RB3 was one of the least reliable cars of 2007 and managed to complete only 74% of the season's race distance.
With again Webber and Coulthard behind the wheel, the Red Bull RB4 failed to improve much in 2008, despite a good first half of the season. While Webber was the more constant driver, it was Coulthard who put in the first podium of the year at the Canadian GP. Although the reliability problems had been resolved, the Renault engine seriously lacked power, leading to Red Bull being unable to keep up with Scuderia Toro Rosso, running the same chassis from Red Bull Technology, but powered by a much better Ferrari engine. Along with Honda, Renault was later on granted to upgrade its engines to equalize the performance.
After David Coulthard announced his retirement from F1 racing, RBR decided to hire Sebastian Vettel who shined all through 2008. Before, the FIA set up the overtaking working group (OWG), which decided a list of major regulation changes that put down the ideal mix for Adrian Newey team to flourish. Had it not been for the diffuser row, the Red Bull RB5 would have been simply unbeatable all the way through the season. However, it turned out differently, and by the time Red Bull designed an effective double deck diffuser, Brawn GP had a massive lead in the championship which was never closed. RBR came in second in the championship easily, and Sebastian Vettel was second in the drivers' standings.
Domination with Renault
In 2010 the team kept its driver lineup, and early test pace quickly showed that the new Red Bull RB6 was the car to beat. Throughout the year, Vettel and Webber fought closely, and eventually threw away many points, some by technical issues, others by driver mistakes or even collisions between the team mates. Vettel hitting Webber at Turkey pushed matters on the edge, with Mark Webber especially getting frustrated that he felt Vettel was favoured over him within the team.
Despite difficulties mid-season, Vettel came back on top towards the end of the year, and the team's fourth 1-2, at Brazil, secured Red Bull Racing's first ever constructor's championship. The result was the beginning of an immensely successful period for the team, as Vettel and Red Bull went on to win both championships again in 2011 and 2012.
In 2013, the team was renamed Infiniti Red Bull Racing after extending a sponsorship and technology deal with car manufacturer Infiniti.
After many years with the team, Mark Webber eventually announced that 2013 would be his final F1 season, most likely influenced by Vettel overtaking him for the win at the Malaysian Grand Prix, thereby ostensibly ignoring team orders. While Vettel went on to take his fourth consecutive Championship, tension within the team remained present throughout the season.
Thereby ended a highly successful era for the team, thanks to a very solid, reliable and fuel efficient Renault V8, and the brilliance of Adrian Newey and his team, as they continued to master exhaust blowing to gain rear downforce after the double diffuser loophole was closed after 2009.
2014 saw the arrival of a new set of technical regulations, including the V6 hybrid power units, as well as the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo, a young Australian who had progressed through the Red Bull Racing ranks. It was the beginning of a turnaround, for the team and Vettel. With Renault insufficiently prepared for the season, the car was down on power, and with less rear downforce, Vettel was also regularly beaten, making him to leave the team and head to Ferrari at the end of the season.
Russian Daniil Kvyat was promoted from Toro Rosso, but before the Spanish Grand Prix of 2016, he was demoted again, in favour of Max Verstappen. It was a win-win for Red Bull, as their golden boy could move into spotlight, and out of a dispute within Toro Rosso.
On the technical side, disagreements between Red Bull Racing and its engine partner, Renault, rose to a climax, with neither party avoiding public fingerpointing towards the other. Red Bull attempted to switch engine suppliers for 2016, but failed, as team principal Christian Horner could not find any current engine supplier that was prepared to provide the team with equal equipment. The next best option was then to rebrand the Renault engines at Tag Heuer, a name they'd bear until the end of 2018, even when in 2018, Aston Martin became the team's title sponsor, making for a peculiar Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer car name.
In these years, Adrian Newey loosened his grip on the team somewhat, seeking new and more interesting ventures with the Aston Martin Valkyrie project. The team itself ended up finishing second in 2014, 4th in 2015, 2nd in 2016 and third twice in its final years with Renault. The team were frequently fighting for podiums, and from time to time in for a win, but it wasn't enough for Red Bull Racing, convinced they were only down on power compared to Mercedes and Ferrari.
With performance sort of fixed, Red Bull Racing went on to search for other options, and found them with Honda. The Japanese engine manufacturer had been sole supplier for Toro Rosso in 2018, enabling Red Bull Technology to gain insight into its future roadmap, and potential as a partner with Red Bull Racing. A deal was struck for 2019 and 2020 supply, and later also extended beyond 2021. Aston Martin continued as title partner, while Tag Heuer remained a partner, but not to rebrand the engines.
The first year with Honda power proved fruitful, and clearly improving, leading the team to finish third in the Championship again, but with hope that 2020 would end up being better.
|Car designation||Race years|
|Red Bull RB1||2005|
|Red Bull RB2||2006|
|Red Bull RB3||2007|
|Red Bull RB4||2008|
|Red Bull RB5||2009|
|Red Bull RB6||2010|
|Red Bull RB7||2011|
|Red Bull RB8||2012|
|Red Bull RB9||2013|
|Red Bull RB10||2014|
|Red Bull RB11||2015|
|Red Bull RB12||2016|
|Red Bull RB13||2017|
|Red Bull RB14||2018|
|Red Bull RB15||2019|
|Red Bull RB16||2020|