Red Bull Racing may just be F1’s Counter Culture & Party Child. The brand, and team, exude charisma and personality. When Red Bull Racing (RBR) announced its application to enter the Formula 1 World Championship, the perception was, “Here comes another mass marketing campaign from another major conglomerate.” The chatter amongst folks for the first couple years was not so much about how long it will take the team to compete, but more, how long will it be before they move on to the next step in their advertising agenda.
Well, 15 years on, and not only are they still here, but tout 4 Constructors Titles, 4 Drivers Titles, and the praise of having resurrected, rebuilt, and reintroduced one of Formula 1s dieing, yet legendary circuits. Formerly known as the Österreichring/A1 Ring, now renamed The Red Bull Ring.
In their early days, Red Bull Racing broke cultural norms in F1 by establishing an image which set it apart from the rest of the Formula 1 circus. They hosted public events which brought Formula 1 closer to the fans. Team apparel & merchandise was more fashionably trendy, unlike their competitors which mostly designed sporty “mechanics wear”. Team members would participate in extreme sports, silly social activities, and obscure entertainment campaigns (a trend they have continued through out the years). The perception, and brand image was closer in proximity to that of a “Tech StartUp” rather than a traditional racing team. So who are they and what has made them so successful in such a short period of time? Without a doubt, they are highly intelligent, super successful, diverse and creative individuals recruited from around the World of Racing, coming together to disrupt the "Status Quo.”
It begins with their fearless leader, Dietrich Mateschitz, founder of the RedBull energy empire whom is known for being a supremely determined & aggressive investor. These characteristics were proven early on in his F1 efforts as he decided the purchase of a single Formula 1 team was not enough. So soon after he had purchased Fords F1 assets and rebranded them “Red Bull Racing”, he opted to purchase a second team, Minardi Formula One, which was renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso (Italian for, “Team Red Bull”). Their second weapon, than, is Adrian Newey. He is renowned by a majority as the best car designer and engineer in the history of the sport. No person in F1 has designed more championship winning cars than him! Than comes Dr. Helmut Marko, whom led Red Bulls Driver Development Program for many years and often described as one of the best at spotting young talent. He was responsible for developing and bringing in some of the biggest names into the sport: Gerhard Berger, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and Max Verstappen (to name a few). Finally, the Team Boss, Christian Horner. Christian is super charismatic, highly clever, and outspoken.
Red Bull Racing has attracted a massive amount of new fans to the sport and has produced some of the best personalities in the modern era of racing. They are much more than an energy drink. The Team is a pure race bred machine, architected and pieced together by some of the most talented individuals the world of racing has ever seen. Even when the team has not produced the fastest vehicle, they often find ways to strategically out maneuver their faster rivals. To be capable of achieving this against the likes of Ferrari & Mercedes is very telling of RBRs talent & capabilities.
They are without a doubt a pure bred racing team. The brand has brought back a new kind of excitement and individuality to the sport by ditching traditional race culture. They tend to produce drivers (e.g. Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen) with highly aggressive race craft that personifies, “The all or Nothing” attitude which the team itself carries. They reignited the rock-n-roll persona the sport had been missing for so long.
This, is Red Bull Racing!