‘David against Goliath’ the battle between Vettel and Alonso

Two of the best drivers on the grid battled several times, each other for the title of the world champion. Fernando Alonso is a two time world champion currently racing for McLaren-Honda, before that he was a test driver for Benetton, joined Minardi in 2001, Renault was his next station from 2003 to 2006, then signed a contract with McLaren where he raced for only one season and returned back to Return in 2008. Fernando’s next step was Ferrari, from 2010 to 2014. In 2015, he returned to McLaren and he is racing there since now.

The Spaniard, while he was racing for Renault, finished first on the drivers’ championship for two consecutive years. Nando, won his first title in 2005 and the following season celebrated his second and final title.

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel born in Heppenheim on July 3rd, 1987, at his early steps as a Formula One driver, Sebastian joined BMW Sauber as a test driver and made his official debut at the United States Grand Prix in 2007, then he signed a contract with Toro Rosso and remained there until 2008. The next stop in his career was Red Bull Racing, during his period with the Bulls he celebrated four championships (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). In 2015, the German fulfilled his childhood dream, signed a contract with Scuderia Ferrari and he is still racing for Ferrari alongside Kimi Raikkonen.

David vs Goliath

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Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel fought each other for the championship while they were racing for Ferrari and Red Bull respectively. Two times Fernando was very close to beat Vettel and win the championship with Ferrari, the first was in 2010 and the second was two years later in 2012. The Spaniard wished to become David and finish ahead of his opponent, but unfortunately Goliath was stronger, and Red Bull was unbeatable those years.

In 2010, Sebastian Vettel finished first in the drivers’ championship, the difference to his rival Alonso, was just four points. The German scored 256 points, whilst the Spaniard collected 252 points. In 19 races Vettel and Alonso were fighting wheel to wheel for the world title, during those races Sebastian retired three times and finished out of the points only in Belgian Grand Prix. Furthermore, Vettel won five races same number of victories with his opponent Fernando Alonso.

From the other hand, Fernando Alonso retired in Belgium, didn’t finish the Malaysian Grand Prix and finished out of the top ten at Silverstone. In the last six races of the 2010 season, Nando won three Grands Prix and finished twice third. Fernando played his final card for the championship in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Vitaly Petrov the Russian title decider

A thrilling race took place in Yas Marina, before the race, Fernando Alonso was leading the drivers’ championship with 246 points, followed by Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel which collected 236 and 231 points respectively. Lewis Hamilton had also mathematical chances to win the title as he had 222 points and he was 24 points behind Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, had to secure the first two places in order to win the title without having to consider the other results.

On Saturday’s qualifying, Sebastian Vettel secured the pole-position, Lewis Hamilton was the second quickest driver on the grid and Fernando Alonso took the third position followed by Jenson Button and Mark Webber. At the first lap of the race, Sebastian Vettel was leading the race, followed by Hamilton and Jenson Button. Alonso had a slow start which cost him the third place and dropped him down to fourth. After the first pit-stops, Alonso re-joined behind Petrov. Fernando was on hard tyres and Petrov had already done his pit-stop, Alonso couldn’t overtake Vitaly. Even when the Spaniard tried to attack the Russian, Petrov was always in position to defend his position.

Sebastian Vettel led the race all the way, Lewis Hamilton finished second, Jenson Button third, and Fernando Alonso, after 40 laps of battling with Petrov, finished seventh. That result was enough for Sebastian Vettel to secure his first world title in his Formula One career.

Two years later…

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In 2012, the two drivers crossed their swords once again. Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso fought closely, but at the end the Germans always win. Vettel scored 281 points in 20 races, whilst Alonso scored 278 points. The German, finished five times on the top step of the podium, retired in the European Grand Prix and finished out of the points in two races, the first was in Malaysia and the second in Italy.

Fernando Alonso, won three races during the season and finished ten times on the podium. The Spaniard, retired in Belgium and in Japan, but despite those two retirements he finished in the top-10 in the rest races.

In Italy, Sebastian Vettel retired on lap 47 due to failed alternator, after that race the German won four consecutive races, finished third in Abu Dhabi, second in the USA and sixth in the final race of the season in Brazil. In Brazil, Sebastian Vettel needed to defend his 13 point lead in order to secure his third championship. The fourth position, would be enough for Sebastian to give him the title, even if Alonso won the race.

Fernando Alonso, qualified eighth whilst Sebastian Vettel set the fourth quickest lap on the grid and placed behind Hamilton, Button and Webber. The rain altered everything during the race, the teams were confused about which strategy would be correct for their drivers. On lap 23, the safety car deployed, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were fifth and fourth respectively. The damage on Vettel’s car didn’t allow him to set a quick dry laps, few laps later the rain forced all the drivers to pit for intermediates.

At the end of the race, Fernando Alonso finished second and Sebastian Vettel sixth, still Vettel collected enough points in order to celebrate his third world title.

Hopefully, one day we will see these top two drivers to fight, once again, each other for the title.

The Red Bull’s Legend – Sebastian Vettel

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Red Bull currently have four constructors titles and four drivers titles, those four titles are all courtesy of one driver, Sebastian Vettel. The German’s relationship with the team begun in 1998 at the age of 11, when he signed to their junior team. His success in the junior formulae acted as a precursor to his career at the top table as he won the Junior Monaco Kart Cup in 2001.

He then went on to win the 2004 German Formula BMW Championship, with a whopping 18 wins from 20 victories. This opened up his door to F1 as he was rewarded with a test in the Williams FW27. While he was winning these cups in the junior categories, in Formula One another German was taking all the plaudits. As Vettel won 18 from 20 races in 2004, Michael Schumacher was taking his seventh world championship in his most dominant season. He took 13 wins from 18 races and took his final championship win.

Vettel begun testing for the BMW Sauber Formula One team in 2006, while participating in the F3 Euroseries, coming second to Paul Di Resta. 2007 saw him get his big break, while racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Following Robert Kubica’s horror smash at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel was called up to replace him for the US Grand Prix. He qualified seventh and finished eighth, taking his first point and becoming the youngest point scorer in history, aged 19 years and 349 days.

BMW released Vettel so that he could join the Scuderia Toro Rosso team for the remainder of the 2007 season, replacing Scott Speed. This is where his journey to Red Bull stardom began. Following a few impressive results, his big break came at the Italian Grand Prix in 2008. He qualified on pole in horrendous conditions, becoming the youngest polesitter, which he then masterfully translated into his and Toro Rosso’s first win. He broke Fernando Alonso’s record set at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix of youngest winner.

For 2009, Red Bull promoted Vettel to their team alongside Mark Webber, and the rest, as they say, is history. He took Red Bull’s first win at the Chinese Grand Prix, with team mate Mark Webber in second. He took four wins that season and finished second in the championship to Jenson Button in the dominant Brawn.

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2010 however, was an interesting year for the team, at the Turkish Grand Prix, while challenging Webber for the lead, the pair collided, putting Vettel out of the race, and the relationship turned sour from that moment on. Both were fighting for the championship come the end of the season, with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso joining them, in a winner takes all clash at Abu Dhabi. He took pole and won the race, taking his first championship, following in the footsteps of John Surtees in 1964 and James Hunt in 1976 in not leading the championship at any point during the season.

2011 was another story, he was dominant, taking 11 wins from 19 races, showing his driving prowess and the newly found power of Red Bull in Formula One. The Austrian team had beaten the heavyweights of McLaren and Ferrari in becoming the top team in the sport. Vettel was quickly becoming known as one of the best drivers in the sport, taking record after record. 2012 saw him take his third consecutive title, emulating Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher in the process.

He was in a battle with Fernando Alonso, again, and it went down to the final race in Brazil. After a first lap collision, Vettel was at the back of the grid, he battled back through the grid, taking sixth, while Alonso finished second, meaning there was nothing Alonso could do. A rather symbolic moment from the race however was Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher moving over for Vettel to take sixth place in Schumacher’s final race. It was almost like there was a changing of the guard between the two.

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2013 saw Vettel take an impressive fourth title, not without its hairy moments, with the now infamous multi-21 incident in Malaysia. Vettel ignored team orders and overtook Webber, taking the win, the Australian was incandescent. Their relationship was already fragile following the incident in 2010, and this was the final straw, with Webber believing the team was against him, he decided to retire from Formula One at the end of the season.

He was booed at some races and Vettel revealed it did have a negative impact on him, though it was widely condemned by many drivers. It didn’t appear to faze him too much as he ended the season with 13 wins from 19 races, including nine consecutive wins at the end of the season.

2014 was the beginning of the end for Red Bull and Vettel, with the rules being changed, Mercedes became the dominant force, with Vettel being overshadowed by new team mate Daniel Ricciardo. In Japan it was confirmed that Vettel would join Ferrari, ending a 16 year association with Red Bull. A German at Ferrari, sound familiar?

Vettel is currently fighting for the title with Lewis Hamilton, but it’s clear that without Red Bull, Vettel’s career could have been so different.

So good, They made two of it – Toro Rosso

The year was 2005 and Red Bull Racing were looking to grow their brand in F1 for both the short and long term. As lady luck would have it, such an opportunity presented itself at the end of that season. Scuderia Toro Rosso (STR) was born, and the rest as they say, is history.

The struggling Minardi team was sold to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz at the end of 2005, when he entered into an equal ownership agreement with F1 legend Gerhard Berger, which lasted until 2008 when the Red Bull team took full ownership.

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Designed to serve as a vehicle for the development of their junior drivers before they could be promoted to the RBR senior team, STR has nurtured the talent of the many young drivers, the most notable of which is 4-time champion, Sebastian Vettel.

It was in an STR that Vettel took the first win of his legendary career when he shook up the paddock with a pole to victory drive at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. He is, to this date, responsible for the only STR win in F1. His victory proved to be the catalyst for his amazing season, which earned him a promotion to the RBR senior team in 2009…. And we all know how that went!

Mateschitz’s vision of creating a sustainable future for his maverick brand in F1, had immediately paid dividends, which has again been repeated by the outstanding talent that is Max Verstappen.

Even though this season has been one to forget for the Dutch driver, his win soon after promotion to RBR again underlined the need for STR in keeping young talent in the paddock, especially given that tenure in F1 is uncertain to say the least. His efforts in the 2015 season resulted in RBR scoring the most points in their history in terms of the constructors rankings.

DRAMA DRAMA

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That’s not to say it has been all wine and roses for the team. Early on in their tenure, questions were raised of an unfair advantage that STR had gained as a result of their RBR link. The team had struggled with performance and handling issues, which had been alleviated to an extent during Vettel’s sterling 2008 season.

2016 saw STR find themselves inadvertently in the middle of a motorsport storm, when Daniil Kvyat, then driving for RBR was sent back to STR for further development, and replaced in the senior team by Verstappen, to the chagrin of a large contingent of F1 fans.  The malcontent died down however, with Verstappen’s success at RBR.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN

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There are lessons to learn in the RBR/STR journey, not the least of which is the value of a team that can act both as a developmental vehicle and retain some independence. STR also doesn’t follow a traditional “use the same engine as the parent team” model which is a departure from the usual in F1. But it is their treatment of younger drivers that stands out.

Teams often face the problem of developmental drivers, who usually run the odd FP1 session or in DTM/GP2, coming into the F1 team with little experience of the rigours associated with full time F1 driving. STR has allowed the younger drivers a way of developing their skills “on the job”, so as to speak, giving them a full shot at the F1 world and arguably a better chance when they are eventually promoted to the RBR team or even join another team on the grid.

Currently Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kyvat helm the machines at STR and while they have struggled a bit this season, the upcoming tracks should suit their style of driving and keep them in the mix for points.

We shall wait and see.

The Cat In F1

Red Bull started their ever-successful F1 adventure in 2005 with David Coulthard and Christian Klien as its first ever driver pairing, while Vitantonio Liuzzi drove several races in Klien’s place. But what of their predecessors at the Milton Keynes base?

Ford took over the old Stewart team in time for the start of the 2000 season and renamed Sir Jackie’s outfit as Jaguar Racing and promised a lot during their five seasons. In Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine, they started out with two Grand Prix winners with Irvine himself fresh from a title challenge with Ferrari in 1999, missing out by two points to Mika Hakkinen.

The season fell way short of their predecessors though. Herbert retired from F1 to go and race in the US off the back of a pointless season, while in a car that clearly struggled Irvine managed to wrestle four points from it. With today’s points system in place, he would have scored 42.

Author: Rick Dikeman

2001 was little better amid turbulence behind the scenes, with successful American team manager drafted in by Ford to turn things around. Irvine was to make the podium in a chaotic Monaco Grand Prix but aside from that results were largely the same. Luciano Burti lasted just four races as Herbert’s replacement before he was himself replaced by Pedro De La Rosa, who would score two points in Italy. Jaguar would finish eighth in the Constructors’ Championship.

2002 saw fewer points but ultimately a higher position in the Constructors’, taking the last of their podium finishes at the Italian Grand Prix courtesy of Irvine once more. Irvine would retire at the end of the season, De La Rosa would go through it pointless and lose his seat as the promising Mark Webber and Brazil’s Antonio Pizzonia joined for 2003. In a similar pattern to Jaguar’s three years, Webber would dominate Pizzonia while he became the second Brazilian to leave Jaguar midway through a season. His replacement, Justin Wilson was on closer terms with Webber and would score a point. Webber would score 16.

A stronger performance in 2003 led many to believe Jaguar would be more regular scorers in 2004, but it didn’t materialise. Webber managed just seven before it was announced he’d be joining BMW Williams, while rookie Klien took just three. Before the end of the season Ford announced their intention to sell, their F1 project floundering.

Author: Rick Dikeman

It wasn’t until very late that Dietrich Mateschitz, whose Red Bull company had sponsored Jaguar as part of the deal to sign Klien, bought the team outright, before buying Minardi a year later and renaming that Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior team.

The rest, as they say, is history.

 

Days before World Champions’ glory

Red Bull were clearly the most dominant team of the early decade after years of building solid foundations in the midfield. The team formerly known as Jaguar began their F1 tenure with an excellent performance in what was their debut campaign.

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David Coulthard showed on numerous occasions that the RB1 was quick as he twice just missed out on podium finishes on his way to 24 points and 12th place, in a renaissance for the Scot ousted at McLaren by Juan Pablo Montoya. Christian Klien took further eight points including 5th place in China, while Vitantonio Liuzzi scored his maiden point at the San Marino Grand Prix.

2006 was to be less fruitful for the team despite Coulthard scoring their first podium, and the first for the Milton Keynes factory since 2002, at the Monaco Grand Prix. Klien left three races before the end of the season to be replaced by Robert Doornbos as Red Bull scored just 14 points all season, with six of those in Monaco.

Mark Webber re-joined in 2007 and the team became more consistent as they began to move up the Constructors’ standings, while Coulthard remained as First Driver. On the pitwall, Red Bull pulled off a major coup by signing legendary designer Adrian Newey from McLaren on a long-term contract. Webber was to score a podium at the European Grand Prix in Germany but was dogged by the kind of reliability issues that plagued his two-year stint at Williams.

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Coulthard was more of a consistent scorer, largely avoiding the poor luck that Webber endured. 24 points was enough for the team to finish fifth in the World Championship. More points did not herald forward movement in the Constructors’ Championship in 2008 as the influence of Newey began to show. Webber scored points in five of the first six races of 2008 while Coulthard, in what was to be his final season in F1, struggled to make an impact.

A chaotic Canadian Grand Prix saw the Scot take the final podium of an excellent career with third place behind the two BMW Saubers, but seventh in Singapore was his sole other points finish. His career ended with a first lap shunt at the now famous Brazilian Grand Prix. With Sebastian Vettel announced as his replacement after impressing at Toro Rosso, new regulations for 2009 promised a shake-up of the order. That promise came to fruition as Red Bull proved to have one of the quicker cars, although they started out well behind Brawn GP following Ross Brawn’s Honda-salvage operation.

It had been a slow start with just 1.5 points from the first two races as Vettel crashed out of the Australian Grand Prix while fighting Kubica for second while Webber finished sixth in a rain-shortened Malaysian Grand Prix. A rain-soaked Chinese Grand Prix was the scene for Vettel’s second Grand Prix victory but more importantly Red Bull’s first, as Webber made it a 1-2 ahead of Jenson Button’s Brawn.

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Vettel would win again later in the year in Britain, Japan and Abu Dhabi while Webber took an emotional first-ever win at Nurburgring, with a second one in Brazil not enough to stop the Brawn pair of Button and Rubens Barrichello winning both the World Drivers’ Championship with Button and the Constructors’ Championship with a race to spare. Nevertheless, a precedent had been set as Red Bull comfortably outperformed their rivals in the second half of the season, while Ferrari and McLaren both had poor seasons. It was never a flash in the pan for Dietrich Mateschitz, and Red Bull Racing were here to stay.

 

The future of Red Bull Racing

What is most unique about Red Bull’s junior driver programme is that it predates the team itself. Founded in 2001, three years before the Austrian team would ever enter a grand prix, it is the second oldest programme in motorsport solely dedicated to grooming young drivers to become future stars of Formula 1. The team recruits promising drivers with the proviso of funding and sponsoring their fledgling motorsport careers in junior categories. Providing them with additional physical and mental training is an invaluable asset to their career progression. And the past dictates that it has been a worthwhile venture for Red Bull.

Credit: GEPA pictures/Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull Junior Team has achieved remarkable success. One Sebastian Vettel, signed to the programme in 2002, won four world championships with Red Bull Racing, proving irrefutably that the programme works. It has also produced two more Formula 1 race winners, Red Bull’s current line-up; Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. What is most impressive about the programme is the amount of drivers it has managed to take all the way to Formula 1. Ten drivers have graduated to the top flight of single seater racing, though not all of them went on to win races or championships, it is an exceptionally high number of junior drivers to make it to F1.

Red Bull have been aided massively by their acquisition of the Minardi Formula 1 team in 2005, which they renamed ‘Scuderia Toro Rosso’ and rebranded the outfit into their sister team, run for the purpose of developing their young drivers further. Usually running in the midfield, the team offers young drivers Formula 1 race experience, with the view to eventually move them up to the Red Bull Racing team, if and when they feel they are ready. This is an asset that other teams have tried to replicate, but never to the same degree of success. A common problem for young racers is that often there isn’t the space for them, but Red Bull’s use of Toro Rosso circumvents this issue slightly, by giving Red Bull four seats they can place their drivers in, instead of the usual two.

The Red Bull Junior Team currently consists of five drivers, competing in four different series. The longest serving current member is Pierre Gasly, 2016 GP2 champion and recent race winner in Super Formula, has been a part fof the team since 2014. Gasly is also touted as a contender for a Toro Rosso seat in 2018. Finnish driver Niko Kari, currently competing in GP3, and Richard Verschoor, racing in both the Toyota Racing Series and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, are in their second year with the programme. While Dan Ticktum and Neil Verhagen are newcomers to the Red Bull Junior Team, both driving in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, alongside Verschoor. With the exception of Gasly, none of these young drivers have been with the programme for a significant amount of time, which is one of the striking things about the Red Bull Junior Team.

Pierre Gasly driving the 2005 Red Bull RB1 at Goodwood on June 26, 2015 in Chichester, England
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Whilst ten drivers might seem like a large number of drivers to take all the way to Formula 1, since its creation in 2001 the Red Bull Junior Team has had sixty-one different drivers on its books at even given time – not including the five currently part of the team. And most young drivers only stay with the team for a year or so before either leaving or being dropped. There are a few exceptions, but on the whole, there is an unusually high turnover of drivers entering and leaving the programme.

The mission statement of the Red Bull Junior Team states that their drivers are under ‘permanent pressure to perform’, and this is clearly the case. Often if a driver has an off-season, or fails to live up to the standards set by Red Bull, they are swiftly dropped. It is very clear that the young drivers in the programme are in a precarious position, with no guarantee of a secure place in the future.

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Being dropped by a programme such as Red Bull’s can be detrimental to a young driver’s career. One of the reason why places on Formula 1 teams’ junior programmes are so sought after is because of the financial backing teams can provide. Something which is essential for drivers who do not come from wealthy backgrounds or have ample sponsorship deals. For drivers such as these, to suddenly lose their backing could spell the end of their Formula 1 dream, or even their racing career.

There are also cases where drivers who were dropped by Red Bull have gone on to have very successful motorsport careers outside of Formula 1, proving that Red Bull were perhaps too dismissive of their talents when they had them on their books. This is apparent in the case of New Zealand born driver Brendon Hartley who spent four seasons in the Red Bull Junior Team before being rather harshly dropped in the middle of the 2010 season. Most recently, Hartley was part of the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans winning team with Porsche, an achievement contrary to Red Bull’s implications that he wasn’t up to racing at the highest level.

The junior single seater circuit is littered with ex-Red Bull backed drivers, F3 title contender Callum Ilott and F2 entrants Alexander Albon and Sergio Sette Camara being a few examples, which is a sign of their merciless attitude towards their junior programme. But this is an ethos firmly engrained within the wider Red Bull motorsport programme. One only has to look at the infamous promotion of Max Verstappen to Red Bull, at the price of Daniil Kvyat’s own Formula 1 career. It was a cut throat move, but it ultimately proved to be right one.

It should be no surprise that the Red Bull Junior Team has so many casualties, whilst it may seem unfair or even cruel, it is a technique that works perfectly for them. Ricciardo and Verstappen, both products of the Red Bull system, are widely considered the most competitive driver pairing on the grid and have the potential to bring the team any number of championships, if given the right machinery. There is no doubt that if Red Bull believe that their junior drivers have the ability then they will take them all the way.

Red Bull Racing – The beginning

When Red Bull first started in Formula One in 2005 they started out with a reputation for adding fun to the ever-more serious world of F1. Energy drinks tycoon Dietrich Mateschitz took over the ailing Jaguar team having harboured interest in F1 for some time. But for their first driver line-up they far from goofed around.

David Coulthard resurfaced there after losing his McLaren seat to Juan Pablo Montoya, while F300 Champion Vitantonio Liuzzi would share driving duties with Christian Klien. The season started well as a wet-dry-wet qualifying in Australia mixed the grid up. Coulthard took a solid fourth place while Klien also scored on Red Bull’s debut with seventh place. In Malaysia, Coulthard and Klien again scored a double-points finish by taking sixth and eighth respectively, while Coulthard scored a further point in Bahrain. Coulthard was to score again with an eighth place in Spain as Red Bull confirmed a solid start to their Formula One life, but the team were to go through a lean spell through the middle of the season.

David Coulthard, Bosphorus Crossing 2005 – Istanbul
Credit: Fatih Saribas/Red Bull Content Pool

Liuzzi scored his only point in San Marino while Coulthard rattled off a fourth and a seventh at the European Grand Prix and in Canada, before the team scored just two points from the next five races. In Turkey, the team scored three points as Coulthard took seventh while Klien followed his teammate home before another three-race scoreless streak to the chaotic Japanese Grand Prix. Another wet qualifying mixed up the grid, and despite Red Bull’s lack of pace relative to the beginning of the season Coulthard was seldom far away from the top three. The Flying Scotsman would eventually finish sixth. Klien would finish a strong fifth in China while Coulthard just missed out on the points at the final round of 2005.

Coulthard would end the season 12th in the World Drivers’ Championship with 24 points, with Klien 15th on 9 and Liuzzi 24th with one point from his four races. The team finished an impressive seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, just four points behind BAR Honda. For 2006, the team would struggle more on their way to 16 points and seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.

The signing of Coulthard added experience to a team entering a new dawn, while Klien showed flashes of speed. The solid performance of Red Bull’s first years inspired confidence of future success for Mateschitz.

Those hopes have been vindicated.

Red Bull Racing Week – the quiz

Welcome to your Red Bull Week Quiz

In which year did Adrian Newey join Red Bull from McLaren?
Who won first? Red Bull Racing or Scuderia Toro Rosso?
Where was Red Bull’s first ever podium?
Where and when was Mark Webber’s first ever Grand Prix victory?
Where in the UK are Red Bull Racing based?
How many victories did Daniel Ricciardo take during his first Red Bull season?
Who did Sebastian Vettel replace mid-season in 2007 at Toro Rosso?
How many Dutchmen have driven for Red Bull?
Who took Red Bull’s first ever victory at the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix?
Which of these three drivers did not form part of their first driver line-up?
Who finished second in the World Drivers’ Championship to Sebastian Vettel in both 2010 and 2012?
Which team did Red Bull takeover in 2004 ahead of their debut year in 2005?
Where was Mark Webber “not bad for a number two driver.”?
Red Bull have won the same amount of World Drivers’ and Constructors Championships. How many of each have they won?
The infamous Multi 21 incident took place at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix, but at which previous Grand Prix did Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel famously collide while Red Bull teammates?

The Scuderia – the most successful team in Grand Prix history

Ferrari are the only team to have competed in Formula One since the championship’s inaugural year back in 1950.

The Prancing Horse have gone on to become arguably the most iconic racing teams – and brands – in the world. The Scuderia have also become the most successful team in Grand Prix history to fulfil Enzo Ferrari’s dream of Grand Prix success. Ferrari have since won 15 World Drivers’ Championships and 16 World Constructors’ titles, although neither accolade since 2008.

Unlike other teams, the Scuderia started the 1950 season at the Monaco Grand Prix, missing the first ever Formula One race at the earlier British round weeks before.  The Alfa Romeos of Giuseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio were the dominant force of the year and Farina would go to win his only World Championship later that year, but Alberto Ascari still proved competitive around the streets of Monte Carlo.  He would finish second in Monaco while teammate Raymond Sommer was fourth.

Ascari, Luigi Villoresi and Sommer would retire in Switzerland after all three missed the Indianapolis 500, while Ascari would net another second place at the season ending Italian Grand Prix at Monza. There would be another points finish before then though as Ascari was fifth in Belgium at the fearsome Spa-Francorchamps circuit, while Sommer and Villoresi were not to trouble the scorers after Monaco.

The only other Ferrari podium would come courtesy of the privately entered Peter Whitehead at the penultimate French Grand Prix. Ascari would win the World Championship with Ferrari in 1952 and 1953 as the team began to establish themselves on the Formula One scene.

1950 was not a fairytale debut, but it set the foundations for one of the greatest teams in racing history.