Who will drive for Red Bull in Formula 1?
In 2022 Red Bull Racing will drive with the same drivers as the year before. Red Bull's frontrunner Max Verstappen will be joined again this year by Mexican Sergio Perez. The Formula One driver is a veteran of the sport and showed he could be crucial in the final race in Abu Dhabi in 2021. At the same time, Perez has been less than convincing in other races, making this a crucial year for him.
The birth of Red Bull
Like many of the current teams on the Formula 1 grid, Red Bull was the result of a takeover. Jaguar's mounting financial problems spelled the end of the British manufacturer in the premier class at the end of 2004. It was a place that Red Bull was only too happy to occupy after having been active as a sponsor of individual drivers for several years. At the start of 2005, two red bull cars lined the grid in Australia, with veterans David Coulthard and Christian Klien behind the wheel.
It would be another few years before the energy drink manufacturer's team would impress the establishment, namely in 2007. With the signing of Adrian Newey as their designer, the racing team made it clear that it was not just in it for the fun and the publicity. The cooperation with Renault as engine supplier also started from that year and the results seemed to improve. A year later, however, Red Bull was unable to continue the upward trend in performance and the team finished seventh in the Constructors' standings. From 2009, the team's period of glory began when Sebastian Vettel joined as a young talent alongside the now veteran Mark Webber.
Four titles in a row
While Vettel narrowly missed out on the title in 2009 (Jenson Button won with only eleven points ahead of Vettel), Red Bull entered a dominant period in 2010. The Austrians continued the changes that started in 2009. Partly due to the innovative use of exhaust gases, Red Bull managed to find a significant aerodynamic advantage. The result was titles in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for Vettel and Red Bull.
After an extremely successful period, Formula 1 introduced new regulations around the combustion engine in the 2014 season. No longer was there a 2.4 litre V8 at the back of the cars, but the teams used a hybrid V6. Red Bull remained loyal to engine manufacturer Renault and in the first season the team just could not match Mercedes. The German formation won that season by a wide margin: in only three races did the team fail to win.
As Red Bull's dominant period came to an end, Vettel decided to move to Ferrari. The Italians were behind Red Bull at the time, but that soon changed. With newcomer Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull dropped to fourth place behind Williams, Ferrari and Mercedes. After the team said goodbye to Kvyat, the results started to improve again.
Verstappen to Red Bull
Up until the Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen drove for Red Bull's sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso. After Daniil Kvyat finished third in China, the team decided it would trade the Russian for the Dutchman, who was seen as an up-and-coming junior talent. At the 2016 Barcelona GP, Jos Verstappen's son took place behind the wheel of the RB12 for the first time and knew all eyes were on him.
However, the race could not have started better for him. Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed each other off the track on the opening lap of the race, after which Verstappen took the lead. Verstappen then didn't let up and crossed the finish line first. Kvyat, who Red Bull pushed back to Toro Rosso, grieved in 15th place. With Verstappen at the wheel, Red Bull began their return to the top, with a win here and there and many podiums.
However, Ricciardo left Red Bull in 2018 by stating that he was going to race for Renault the following season. It meant an end to the cooperation between the team and the driver, leaving the Austrians to look for a replacement. For a long time it remained quiet, but eventually Pierre Gasly appeared to be the logical replacement. After a series of disappointing results, he was replaced by Alexander Albon who also failed to perform. It gave Perez a chance at Red Bull last season, after which he was told to keep his seat in 2022.
Red Bull in 2022
For Red Bull, 2022 is an important year. For years the team worked towards the world title. Now that it is finally back in the bag thanks to Verstappen's win, the pressure on next season only increases. While Mercedes has been the favourite to win the world championship in recent years, expectations of Verstappen's performance in the new year are high.
However, the new regulations will not make it easy for the Austrian formation to perform consistently. Nevertheless, Red Bull and Mercedes are expected to battle it out for the front places once again. Red Bull will have to do so without Honda, who have decided to leave Formula 1 after 2021. Behind the scenes the team is reportedly still helping where needed to get Verstappen his second world title in 2022.
Which engine will Red Bull use?
Due to the departure of Honda, Red Bull Powertrains is the new engine manufacturer as of the new year. With the help of the former Japanese engine supplier Red Bull should be able to provide Verstappen and Perez with a reliable power source to compete with the top teams in the coming years. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, preparations are underway for 2026 when another big change is in store.