It’s fair to say that Red Bull Racing have dominated the past few years of Formula One, with Sebastian Vettel on course for his fourth consecutive World Championship in 2013; the Milton Keynes based Red Bull team have also won three World Constructors’ Championships, and are likely to take a fourth this year, while continuing to generate Red Bull Grand Prix Merchandise. Why, then, have Red Bull dominated Formula One, and what does the future hold for the team?
What we know now of as Red Bull Racing emerged from a deal by the Austrian energy drinks corporation to purchase what was the Ford Motor Company’s Jaguar Racing team in 2004. Costing only a dollar to pick up the rights, Red Bull used the existing team to launch a Formula One outfit, having previously sponsored Sauber teams. Working with Cosworth on engines, and hiring Christian Horner and driver David Coulthard to head up their team, Red Bull began an intensive period of recruitment.
While Red Bull took some time to start racking up points in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship, they did innovate in terms of their investment in new Ferrari and later Renault engines. Moreover, they hired away McLaren’s gifted engineer Adrian Newey to design what became the Red Bull RB2 in 2005, starting a development process that eventually resulted in a series of high quality cars. The signing of driver Mark Webber also gave Red Bull a boost by 2008, as did creating a B team in Toro Rosso.
It was actually Toro Rosso who won Red Bull’s first Grand Prix in Italy, using a Renault engine. The focus by Red Bull on Renault engines, and the emergence of a talented young driver in Sebastian Vettel, soon pushed the main team into contention for the Drivers’ Championship, though. Vettel came within a few points of overhauling Jenson Button for the title in 2009, before spearheading a sustained period of success for Red Bull from 2010 onwards.
2010 to 2013
With Vettel driving alongside Mark Webber, Red Bull collected their first Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in 2010, with Vettel taking the former at Abu Dhabi. This performance was repeated in 2011, with Red Bull also partnering with Infiniti to become the team’s main sponsor. Success continued in 2012, while as of September 2013, Vettel and Red Bull are likely to complete a fourth year of all round success.
Simply put, Red Bull have put their money where their mouth is on multiple occasions, investing in the right personnel, engines, and drivers to dominate the sport. Year on year they’ve increased their R&D budget, while also using Formula One’s global appeal to offset costs with increased brand exposure. Income from merchandise and individual races, as well sponsorship deals with Infiniti, have also made Red Bull Racing a lucrative source of revenue for the drinks maker. Given changes to Formula One engines from 2014, challenges will emerge, though, over whether Red Bull can maintain their mechanical superiority over their rivals.
Rosette blogs about the latest news in Formula One.She’s also recently been collecting Red Bull Grand Prix Merchandise.Her other passions include horse racing and cricket.