First of all, let’s remind ourselves that Red Bull Racing have competed in Formula One for one year, and one year only. In that time, they have managed to secure the services of a proven race winner – David Coulthard – who may have been a little desperate at the time of signing, signed none-the-less. Also in that year, they managed to score several points in the championship and managed not to embarrass themselves on a global scale. Later in this same year, the team bought out Minardi to be used as Red Bull’s second Formula One entry, they secured Ferrari engines for 2006 and they blagged one of the worlds top aerodynamicists – Adrian Newey – from McLaren.
That is quite an impressive first year for a team that I originally thought a year ago would not be around long enough to make any kind of impression. I guess I was wrong on that! It would seem that Red Bull are here to stay and more to the point, they are here to win.
Last year, Red Bull alternated their second seat between Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi. With their second team though, 2006 will be a little more stable – Christian Klien should have the drive for all the races. Christian did quite well last year, and again proved that he is capable, if a little inexperienced. He probably felt a little out of his depth, particularly as Red Bull were moving fast and changes happened very quickly within the team.
Partnering Klien will again be David Coulthard. The Scot did well last year, and often ruffled the feathers of some of the top teams. He silenced some of his critics, and I think has found a new home and a new challenge. This year will arguable be more difficult, as the team will have to maintain performance at minimum. This will be difficult as the rest of the grid looks to have improved considerably. But the addition of Adrian Newey to the team will be welcome, even if his effect on the car won’t be seen ’til much later in the year.
The Red Bull squad appear to going from strength to strength, and at a very fast pace. It seems they will be around for a long time, which is encorouging to F1, and their antics off the track are certainly reminiscent of Eddie Jordan and his old team (now Midland).
I’m not so sure they will have a good start to the season though, as testing has highlighted a few areas of concern. But the second half of their campaign should be interesting, as Newey’s presence in the team will begin to bear some fruit. Red Bull are definitely a team to watch, and one day, they will be a major force in F1.