Image credits: © Red Bull.

2012 Red Bull RB8

2012 Red Bull RB8
From the bravery and skill of the drivers battling for titles, to the vision and brilliance of the Paddock's engineers and designers, Formula One is a sport which often celebrates individual achievement over team effort. However, the truth is that no such achievement could be realised without the commitment, passion and dedication of a host of unsung heroes in the garage, Paddock, Factory and the wind tunnel. In short, the team is all. From the moment Red Bull Racing first turned a wheel in Formula One, at the start of the 2005 season, it was always clear that if the ultimate goal of championship victories were to be reached it would only be done if the team invested in F1's most crucial assets – people and experience.

For the team's first season Red Bull brought in Christian Horner, boss of the immensely successful Arden F3000 team as team principal, while the hugely experienced David Coulthard was hired to lead the team on the track. The team's second car was shared by two Red Bull Junior Team drivers: Austria's Christian Klien and Italian rookie Vitantonio Liuzzi. The team went on to finish seventh in the Constructors' Championship.

Off-track, the team's impact was just as immediate, as it brought a ‘work hard, Play hard' attitude to the paddock. With its three-storey Energy Station as its travelling HQ, the team brought haute cuisine, DJs, pop-up parties and intense games of table football to F1 in order to liven up the post-session evenings. Today the mega-motorhomes are a familiar sight behind the garages; in 2005 it looked like a spaceship had dropped into the Paddock.

Although that first season represented a bright start, the team was in no mood to rest on its laurels and the next major addition came at the end of 2005 in the shape of respected designer Adrian Newey. Although his contribution to the team's second challenger, the RB2, would be minimal, Newey's experience, winning pedigree and vision would have a major impact in the future. Únder his guidance the technical departments began to put in place systems which would ultimately yield major benefits.

The first of those came the following season. With the RB2 now powered by Ferrari engines, David Coulthard delivered a faultless drive at the Monaco GP to secure third place and the team's first podium finish. As the team prepared Newey's first real design, the RB3, for 2007, more major additions were announced in the shape of a switch to Renault power and the signing of highly-rated Australian driver Mark Webber. In time, both would help Red Bull Racing make the next step forward, out of the midfield and towards the front of the grid.

The team climbed to fifth in the Constructors' Championship, with the on-track highlight being Webber's third-place podium finish at the European Grand Prix. The next year brought another podium, this time supplied by Coulthard in Canada; it would prove to be the Scot's final podium before bowing out of F1 driving at the end of the year.

The experienced Scot's retirement left a void, but the team was fortunate that waiting in the wings was a young graduate of the Red Bull Junior Team programme just itching to stake a claim to F1 greatness. Having recently taken a stunning maiden F1 win at the Italian GP while racing for Red Bull Racing's sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Sebastian Vettel had marked himself out as a future superstar and the team now offered him the perfect platform from which to seize glory.

A comprehensive set of rule changes gave the team the chance to build a radically different car and when the RB5 proved to be a front-runner, both Webber and new boy Vettel didn't waste any time in turning it into a winner. After an awesome effort from the team to get the car ready in Shanghai, Sebastian landed the team's first win at the Chinese Grand Prix and Mark doubled the celebrations by backing Seb up to deliver a first one-two finish. Five more wins, including Webber's own maiden victory in Germany, followed and the team sealed second in the Constructors' Championship and second in the Drivers' battle for Vettel.

The following year saw the team realise the dream it had begun just five years earlier. Webber and Vettel were title contenders throughout, but after they had secured the team's first Constructors' title with a one-two finish in Brazil, Sebastian took the Drivers' Championship in Abu Dhabi with his fifth win of the season. A title double after just six seasons in the sport was a remarkable achievement.

That 2010 success provided the springboard for a dominant 2011. Having refined the design philosophy begun with RB5, the team allied excellent pace to strong, improved reliability and the RB7 propelled Red Bull Racing to a second team title and Vettel to another Drivers' crown and a host of new records, including a new standard of 15 pole positions in a single season. Red Bull Racing has come a long way in a short time. Founded with the goal of doing things just a bit differently, its four championship titles in just seven seasons are testament to its success in meeting that target. The mission now is to translate that success into a heritage of excellence, and with a unified and committed team firmly in place, the future does, indeed, look bright.

Four titles, 27 race wins and 38 pole positions represent a rich haul for Christian Horner since he was handed the helm of Red Bull's new F1 team in 2005. But while the glittering prizes amassed over 126 races (at the start of the 2012 season) are a source of immense pride, the Red Bull Racing Team Principal will point to the achievement of building a team capable of
winning multiple championships in just seven seasons as perhaps the most satisfying aspect of his role.

Indeed, asked in a magazine interview last year to pick out the greatest lesson he has learned about management during his career Horner was quick to credit teamwork as the key to success. 'The most important thing is to empower people to do their job and not to tell them how to do it. Back them and support them,' he §äid.

It's a philosophy that stretches back to the very beginning of the team boss' career in motorsport – as a racing driver.

In a promising junior series career that took him through stints in Formula Renault, British F3 and F2, the future team boss gained invaluable first-hand experience of just what it takes to make a successful racer – with raw talent being only part of the package.

Horner quickly realised that each cog in the racing machine from driver to race engineer to mechanic to parts fabricator is an integral part of any success. It was a lesson learned in even greater depth when he stepped up from F3 to the International F3000 series. There he not only raced but did so for his own team, Arden, and it was there, after retiring from driving to
concentrate on running the team, that his belief in the power of putting the right people in the right places snapped into full focus.

Over the next six seasons Horner made Arden a racing powerhouse, with the young team owner guiding the outfit to three Drivers' and Team Championships in succession. It was a remarkable record that brought Horner to the attention of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, and when the drinks manufacturer took the radical step of setting up its own Formula One team for the 2005 season, it turned to Horner to run the operation. Risky as the move seemed, the first-time F1 team principal seized the opportunity to apply the lessons learned in the junior formulae with
both hands. Inheriting the remnants of the Jaguar team, Horner set about reinvigorating each department in pursuit of a dedicated squad motivated by the single goal of reaching the top.

The big name signing of Adrian Newey as Chief Technical Officer was the new arrival's most obvious coup, but the policy of placing the right people in the right positions was applied from top to bottom throughout the team. And with Red Bull Racing also making judicious moves in the driver market, Horner had, by 2009, built a team capable of winning races, the first coming with a one-two finish for winner Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber at the Chinese Grand Prix. The tale since has, of course, been one of incredible success. The Chinese GP one-two was followed by five more victories in 2009 and runners-up finishes in both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships. The following year the team made the crucial next step and at the season's penultimate race landed its first Constructors' title. The Drivers' crown for Vettel followed a week later after a thrilling four-way title showdown and the team's mission was realised. It was really only the start, however. It's often said that while winning once is a laudable feat, it's in repeating the achievement that success is really confirmed.

Horner achieved that consistency in 2011, with the team scoring 12 victories, 27 podiums and 18 pole positions to claim back-to-to-back titles. The quest for Horner now is to maintain the hunger for more success, and if the same interview that sought the Team Principal's thoughts on management is any guide then the desire for titles should be in no doubt. Asked to name the thing he most hated in the world Horner's reply was short: 'Losing.'


2012 Red Bull RB8
For anyone who has ever been expelled from school or fired from a job they believed they were destined to do – take heart, you're in good company: so has Formula One's foremost designer Adrian Newey OBE.
Red Bull Racing's Chief Technical Officer might have won eight Formula One Constructors' titles and helped some of the world's most famous drivers to championship wins, but his early days weren't without their challenges. Asked to leave his school for high-jacking a school concert soundcheck and blowing out a stained glass window, Adrian later lost his first trackside
engineering role when the driver wrongly believed his car hadn't been given enough fuel. (concept carz) Adrian recalls: 'In fact, the problem was a fuel leak, I'm glad to say. But anyway, in the immediate aftermath I was fired, basically and the driver asked if he could have a different engineer!'

Such revelations are characteristic of Newey's quiet modesty, but behind the slightly donnish façade and self-effacement lies a fiercely competitive soul for whom second-best is never an option. It's a quality he has taken to every post he has held in a long and impressive career.

After studying aeronautics at Southampton Úniversity and early stints with the Fittipaldi and March F1 Teams (which included the above incident with Christian Danner in 1982), Newey first tasted success in American racing. His March sports car design won IMSA's GTP class in 1983 and 1984, and his IndyCar project, the March 85C, took the Championship and the Indy 500. The follow-up model won the Championship in 1986 and the Indy 500 in both '86 and '87 but F1 was calling, and after a brief venture with March, Newey was, by 1990, at Williams.

There, in partnership with Patrick Head, he brought home five Constructors' titles between 1991 and 1997 and made champions of Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Alain Prost.
When Newey departed Williams for fresh challenges at McLaren, he confirmed his prowess with three further championships, rounding off the decade with the 1998 Constructors' title and two Drivers' crowns for Mika Hakkinen.

Having taken both Williams and McLaren to the heady heights of multiple title wins in the 1990s, Newey's challenge, when he joined Red Bull Racing for the 2006 season, was to do the same for a young team determined to challenge the status quo at every opportunity. It didn't take him long to deliver. After his first two cars for the team, RB3 and RB4, made steady progress,
Newey seized upon a comprehensive set of rule changes for the 2009 season to pen the RB5, which brought the team six wins and second place in the Constructors' Championship.

The next year Newey and his team went one better and, with nine wins, the RB6 took the team's first Constructors' title and with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel also brought home the Drivers' title.

Last year was, of course, even more successful. Tweaking the DNA of the previous year's car, the RB7's consistent performance across all circuits allowed the team to take back-to-back Constructors' and Drivers' titles, thanks in large part to the designer's unflinching desire to be the best and an uncanny ability to exploit possibilities invisible to others.

Newey is just as determined a competitor in his spare time and is a keen and capable amateur racer. Whether that racing will ever include professional racing in the Red Bull Racing RB5 that he was presented with following the landmark 2009 season remains to be seen!

So far, Adrian's vision and single-minded pursuit of excellence has helped reap rich rewards for Red Bull Racing. All that now remains to be seen is just what this remarkable designer dreams up for the team in the future.

Source - Red Bull / Nissan
Q: Does recent success add to the pressure to maintain it or lessen it, as you have continuity?

A: The last few years have been really good, really successful; it's been an incredible journey to get there. It's the fourth evolution of the RB5 this year, so obviously the pressure is to try and stay there if we possibly can. It's a difficult task; we have lost the exhaust technology with the restriction exhaust-outlet position that we were able to develop and perhaps be ahead of the pack in the last couple of years, that led to a big rethink over the winter. Whether that will affect us more than other people is difficult to know, of course. We designed the RB7, last year's car, around that exhaust position and were probably the only people to do so, so it may be that we've lost more than other people through that. Only time will tell; it will be good to get out to do some testing and to see where we get to.

Q: Do you find that frustrating or more of a challenge?

A: Regulation restrictions like the lost exhaust are a bit frustrating in truth, because they are exactly that--they are restrictions, they're not giving new opportunities or revenues particularly, they're just closing a door. Regulation changes I enjoy; regulation restrictions I rather lament.

Q: How have you coped with the removal of the exhaust-blown diffuser for RB8?

A: The RB7 was designed around the exhaust. This year knowing that the exhaust position from last year would be taken away, we've had to go back and look at how we developed the car through the last one and two years with the side-exit exhaust and try and, if you like, make sure that the routes we had taken that were only suitable for that exhaust position we now had to reevaluate. Probably one of the key things there is the rear ride height. The exhaust allowed us to run a high rear ride height. It's much more difficult without that to sustain a high rear height so we have to go back down and have to redevelop the car around that lower ride height.

Q: The other major change is the height of the nose. Did that present difficulties?

A: The restriction nose height, which is a maximum height just in front of the front bulkhead, hasn't really changed the chassis shape very much. We've kept more or less the same chassis shape but had to drop the nose just in front of the front bulkhead, which, in common with many other teams, has led us to I think I'd probably say a slightly ugly-looking nose. We've tried to style it as best we can, but it's not a feature you would choose to put in were it not for the regulation.

Q: Would you say the RB8 is still an evolution of the RB7 or did you have to rethink many aspects?

A: I'd say RB8 is the fourth generation of what started with the 2009 car, the RB5. So I guess this is the great grandson of that car.

Q: Do you simply hate to lose or is the thing that keeps you coming back the process of solving the design puzzle created by the regulations?

A: I've been lucky enough through my career to have had a good amount of success and people often ask will I retire soon or whatever. The answer is that as long as I keep enjoying it then I'd like to keep going. What really fascinates me about it is the technical challenge, the fact that we've moved a very high, fast pace, so every two weeks we're out being evaluated, which if we're doing well is great, and if we're doing poorly is painful. So at least you know where you are and you get to see the product of your work very quickly. So I really enjoy working with my colleagues, my fellow engineers here at Milton Keynes, with the drivers, of course, at the track, and it's a job that has many facets and many varieties that you always get that immediate feedback, and that really motivates me about the job.

Q: In Sebastian Vettel you've got a driver who seems to be getting even better. What do you expect from this season?

A: I think we have a great driver lineup. Sebastian, obviously double World Champion now, I think matured tremendously through last year. In 2010, he drove a great season, showed immense talent and thoroughly deserved to be World Champion at the end of it. It was a rocky year, he was a very young lad, showed incredible determination and ability to learn from his mistakes. Like all people he made mistakes through that year, but he never made them twice, and I think that ability to learn from his mistakes and to always be searching and trying to improve really showed in his driving last year. He really made no mistakes last year, he was aggressive when he needed to be, he was patient when he needed to be, he really showed incredible maturity and there is no reason to think that won't continue.

Q: And in Mark you have a driver with a point to make after a difficult 2011. Do you think Mark will find the RB8 an easier task then the RB7?

A: Mark had a rocky ride last year. Through his 2010 he had a very good season and he was unlucky in many ways not to be World Champion at the end of that year. In 2011, he initially, I think, struggled a little bit to understand how to use the Pirelli tires. It took a little bit of time for him to adapt to them. He's had a great winter, he's tremendously fit, he's really looking forward to the start of the season and I think he'll be one to look out for this year, I hope.

Q: Is part of what keeps you coming back the process of evolving this team? Is it still a work in progress?

A: The team is still a relatively young team. It's come a long way in a very short period and we had a great deal of success over the last two or three years. But we still occasionally show our youth, we still occasionally make mistakes which hopefully is like the swan that looks graceful on the top but there is lot of action going on underneath. So we're still learning, but I think the fact that we are a young team with tremendous spirit and determination is great, which means that we do learn and we do try to evaluate and to continue to criticize ourselves and see how we can improve. I would hope with the confidence of the last few years and our steady improvement, we can keep maintaining and keep learning.

Q: How do you approach that moment of first dropping the car on track? Are you quietly confident or is there a dread of what other teams will bring?

A: People often ask just before the new car runs, what's the expectation for this year and my answer is always, I have absolutely no idea. We know what we have done through the winter, we know how we have developed the car, but we have absolutely no idea what everybody else has done. With the regulation changes and restrictions, then, it's quite a different game to the end of last year. Have we made as much improvement as others, more, less? It's impossible to know. There is always trepidation when we start preseason testing and preseason testing itself is very difficult to read from. If we are hopelessly uncompetitive to another team then we will probably realize it. If there's two or three of us that look broadly similar, then it will be very difficult to pick actually who is the quickest out of those. So it won't be until we get to Melbourne qualifying that we'll really get more of a feel for it.

Q: Finally, how does the OBE feel?

A: To be recognized by the Queen with an OBE is very flattering. I'm particularly proud of the fact that it's for engineering achievements. I think so often engineers in the U.K. are overlooked, and that's a shame given our proud roots through the Victorian area of developing industry and technology engineering. I feel real pride actually that I've been awarded that and a tremendous thank you to everybody who feels that's been appropriate. I've had an enormously enjoyable career, and to be recognized as an engineer gives a very good feeling.

Germany Sebastian Vettel
Australia Mark Alan Webber

Austria Red Bull Racing

2012 Season
Points: 460
Position: 1

2020 Entry: RB16
2019 Entry: RB15
2018 Entry: RB14
2017 Entry: RB13
2016 Entry: RB12
2015 Entry: RB11
2014 Entry: RB10
2013 Entry: RB9
2011 Entry: RB7
2010 Entry: RB6
2009 Entry: RB5 Renault
2008 Entry: RB4 F1
2007 Entry: RB3
2006 Entry: RB2
2005 Entry: RB1

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