In the background, there is a lot going on about the power sources. The takeover of the Honda engine by Red Bull...
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
What started as a team that was known as 'just an energy drinks manufacturer', grew into a four-time world champion with designer Adrian Newey, Helmut Marko as an advisor and team boss Christian Horner. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will compete for the team as they try to hunt down Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in 2021.
|Team Name||Red Bull Racing|
|Base||Milton Keynes, Great-Britain|
|Team Leader||Christian Horner|
|Technical Leader||Adrian Newey|
Who drives for Red Bull in Formula 1?
In 2021 Red Bull Racing will make a change. For the first time since Mark Webber, Red Bull opt for a driver outside of their junior set-up. That comes in the form of Sergio Perez after Alex Albon couldn't get close enough to his former Dutch teammate. Perez is an experienced driver who has been on the grid since 2011. The Mexican won his first Formula 1 race during the 2020 season, and he finished fourth in the World Championship.
It came as no surprise that Max Verstappen would once again be driving for Red Bull.
The birth of Red Bull
Like many of the current teams on the Formula 1 grid, Red Bull has also been the result of an acquisition. Jaguar's increasing financial difficulties meant the end of the British manufacturer in the King's class at the end of 2004. A place that Red Bull was all too keen to take after having been active as a sponsor of individual drivers for several years. At the start of 2005, there were two cars with red bulls on the Australian grid, with veterans David Coulthard and Christian Klien behind the wheel.
It would still be a few years before the energy drinks manufacturer's team would impress the establishment. With Adrian Newey's snare as a designer, it became clear that the racing team wasn't just joining in for fun and publicity. The collaboration with Renault as engine supplier also started that year and the results seemed to improve.
A year later Red Bull didn’t manage to continue the upward trend in performance and finished seventh among the constructors. From 2009 the team's period of glory began with the recruitment of Sebastian Vettel as a young talent alongside the now veteran Mark Webber.
Four titles in a row
In 2009, Sebastian Vettel just missed out on the title (Jenson Button wins by only 11 points), but in 2010 a dominant period for Red Bull began. Red Bull can find a significant advantage in terms of aerodynamics. The result? Titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing.
After an extremely successful period, Formula 1 introduced new regulations on the internal combustion engine from the 2014 season. No longer is there a 2.4 litre V8 in the back of the cars, but a hybrid V6. Red Bull remains loyal to engine manufacturer Renault and in the first season the team just can't match Mercedes. By a long way, seeing as there are only three races that season where Mercedes didn't win.
With the dominant period of Red Bull blatantly at an end, Sebastian Vettel moved to Ferrari. A team that was behind the Bulls at that time. In the following season, Red Bull, with newcomer Daniil Kvyat next to Daniel Ricciardo, returns to P4 behind Williams, Ferrari and Mercedes. It is only when the Russian was put aside that the results seem to improve again.
Max Verstappen to Red Bull Racing
Until the Spanish Grand Prix, Max Verstappen drove for Toro Rosso. After Daniil Kvyat crossed the finish line in China in third place, it was decided that the Russian would be exchanged for the Dutchman, who was seen as upcoming talent. During the Grand Prix of Barcelona in 2016, Verstappen took his place behind the wheel of the Red Bull for the first time and knows that the eyes of the world are on him. A race that the Dutchman used to impress immediately.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg tripped over each other in the opening lap of the race, after which Max Verstappen took the lead. Not a single stitch is dropped by the Dutchman and he crosses the finish line first. With Verstappen behind the wheel, Red Bull begins to return to the top, with a victory here and there and many podiums.
Daniel Ricciardo drops the next bomb: The Australian leaves the race team to join the Renault factory team from the 2019 season.
For a long time, it remains quiet who will come next to Max Verstappen in the empty spot, but in the end, the most logical choice will be the real one: Pierre Gasly came in as the replacement. Fernando Alonso also had a small chance, but the Spaniard wasn’t drawn upon.
Switch to Honda
After three victories in 2019 and Verstappen being able to leave pole twice, the switch to Honda seems to be a success. The engine is reliable and fast too. However, an extra step is needed. From Honda, but also from Red Bull.
In 2020, the Honda engine wasn't perhaps as reliable but it was enough for Red Bull to secure second in the World Championship. Perhaps their best possible finish given how strong Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton were through the season.
Towards the end of the season, Red Bull seemingly start to close the gap. Verstappen secured pole and won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which should push Red Bull through the winter with positive momentum.
However, in the middle of the season, Honda announced they will leave the sport after the 2021 season. It's unconfirmed which route Red Bull will go down, but the most likely option is that Red Bull will continue to develop the Honda engine themselves should other teams agree to an engine freeze.
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