Despite being relatively new to the sport, Red Bull are one of the most successful Formula 1 teams ever.
The energy drink company joined the grid in 2005, taking over Jaguar Racing, the somewhat unsuccessful team formerly known as Stewart Grand Prix. David Coulthard replaced Mark Webber for their first season, while Christian Klein stayed on - he was meant to rotate with Vitantonio Liuzzui throughout the year but the Italian ended up only competing four times - and the two drivers gave the team a successful debut campaign.
They had a first race to remember with Coulthard finishing P4 in Australia and his team-mate scoring points too, taking P7. The rest of the season continued in a similar vein with the two unable to stand on the podium but consistently picking up points. By the end of it, the team had 34 to their name, which was enough to give them P7 in the standings.
They retained the same driver lineup for the 2006 campaign, in which Coulthard secured the team’s first podium in Monaco, finishing P3. Asides from that though, it wasn’t as successful a year as their first as they scored 18 less points, remaining P7 in the championship.
Webber returned to replace Klein in 2007 and his P3 in Germany played a big part in Red Bull finishing inside the top five of the final standings for the first time, as did Coulthard’s three top-five finishes.
2008, the Scot’s last year with the team, wasn’t as fruitful as they returned to P7, but with regulation changes giving them the chance to climb the pecking order, things really picked up after that.
Vettel was brought in to replace Coulthard, and gave the team their first win three races into 2009 with Webber following him home in P2. They’d pick up one victory each in the first half of the season after that, putting them in contention with Brawn GP for both titles.
They’d ultimately finish in P2 in both championships, but after winning the final three races of the year, were very much considered title contenders heading into the 2010 season, and they proved to be just that.
Vettel and Webber made a disappointing start that year, scoring just 18 points between them in the first two rounds, but kickstarted their seasons with a 1-2 finish at round three in Malaysia, beginning a titanic title fight with Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Webber and Alonso led that fight for the majority of the year, but Vettel was still in contention heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi, at which point Red Bull had already secured their first ever Constructors’ Championship, and prevailed to give them their Drivers title too.
That marked the beginning of a period of serious dominance for both the team and the German, the extent of which had rarely before been seen in the sport.
Nobody came remotely close to stopping them retaining their titles in 2011. Vettel scored over 100 points more than any other driver, winning 11 of the 19 races. Webber meanwhile finished the year in P3, ensuring the team won the Constructors’ Championship with ease.
Things weren’t as comfortable for Vettel in 2012, with Fernando Alonso taking the title fight to the final race in Brazil. There, the Red Bull man delivered a heroic drive, fighting his way back to P3 after dropping down to the back of the field at the start, to become a three-time World Champion.
With Webber outperforming the other Ferrari of Felipe Massa by a fair margin, the third straight team title was wrapped up far earlier and far less dramatically, as would both trophies the following year.
Vettel dominated as few ever had before him, winning 13 of the 19 races, including each of the last nine and scoring more points than any other team, let alone driver. With four consecutive title doubles, Red Bull were on another level to any of their competitors, but that was about to change.
There were big regulation changes ahead of the 2014 season, with the sport entering the hybrid era, and unlike in 2009, chief technical officer Adrian Newey and co didn’t handle them well. As a result, the team dropped down the pecking order, and wouldn’t recover for a long time.
In 2014, they finished P2 in the standings but were a long, long way behind Mercedes with the only real positive being the excellent performances of Daniel Ricciardo, who replaced compatriot Webber.
Vettel followed Webber out the door a year later, joining Ferrari, and the Italian team as well as Williams pushed Red Bull further down the field in 2015.
Thanks in large part to the emergence of Max Verstappen, who replaced Daniil Kvyat early in 2016, they were able to reclaim their title of best of the rest behind Mercedes in 2016, but that was as good as things would get for them in a while.
In the three years that followed, they’d be third-best to Mercedes and Ferrari, able to pick up the occasional victory but nothing more.
In 2020, they moved back ahead of Ferrari, who built their worst car in a long, long time, but were once again no match for Mercedes. While they secured P2 in the standings comfortably, they won just two races compared to the German team’s 13 and scored 319 points to the German’s teams 573.
That was in part because they’d failed to find an adequate replacement for Ricciardo, who left at the end of 2018, with Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon both failing to perform anywhere near the level of Verstappen. In an attempt to address that problem, Sergio Perez was signed for the 2021 campaign.
While the Mexican didn’t immediately impress that season, Red Bull’s car did with Verstappen winning two of the first five races and finishing second to Hamilton in the others. Finally, he and his team had a car to challenge the Brit and Mercedes, and they made the most of it.
In an intense battle full of numerous twists and turns, the Dutchman prevailed in the final round, overtaking Hamilton on the final lap to give Red Bull their first title in just under a decade.
They couldn't claim the Constructors' Championship too due to Perez's slow start, but by the end of the year he was driving excellently and played a big part in his team-mate's triumph.
Finally, they had two top drivers again, and given that, knew they'd have an excellent chance at securing their first title double since 2013 in 2022 if they could handle the regulation changes well.
Given all they've achieved in their short time in F1, it would take a brave man to bet against it.
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