The secret to Red Bull’s success in Formula 1 is a topic talked about up and down the pit lane.
The answer is not clear cut but team principal Christian Horner revealed in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live some factors which have contributed to their recent domination of the sport.
One thing which is always apparent in an interview with any Red Bull Racing team member is the team spirit.
For example, listen to Sebastian Vettel’s radio messages after he has won a race.
He is not just talking to the pit wall, his messages are to the whole team. On his in-lap after the Abu Dhabi race he said: “Thank you guys. Everything we did, we did it together.” Vettel loves his team and they love him.
Alonso has famously said that he is fighting the team’s designer, Adrian Newey, as well as Sebastian Vettel. Of course, the car is important to win a championship.
However, if Newey is the single reason to Red Bull’s success, then Mark Webber would be ahead of Alonso in the championship, which he is not.
Both drivers have access to the same car - ignoring Silverstone 2010. So an explanation cannot be whittled down purely to the genius of Adrian Newey, although this is of course a factor.
So could the secret be Sebastian Vettel?
He has won four consecutive championships for the team, so is he the jewel in the crown?
Well the answer is yes, to some extent. Without undermining the ability of Mark Webber, Horner believes that the reason as to why Vettel seems to have the upper hand is due to their driving ability.
In the interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Horner told Sir Clive Woodward: “Mark Webber is always quicker in the high speed corners. Now, is that because he’s slightly braver, he’ll take a little bit more risk, or he just has that sensitivity in those corners?
"Sebastian Vettel is always quicker in the slower corners. His style, his approach, the way he will set the car up on the way into a corner is different to Mark, and you’re in a slow corner longer, therefore there is more time to be won or lost in slower corners.”
This certainly would explain Vettel’s domination in Singapore this year; a track which is mostly composed of slow corners.
But many people rate drivers such as Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso as better than Sebastian Vettel. In fact, Red Bull rate them too. This is why preparation for a race weekend involves beating these two drivers. This is not just on track, but also in the simulator.
“We’ll look at Fernando Alonso," Horner continue, "and we will superimpose him or Lewis Hamilton against our drivers so they can see the lines they’re taking, the points where they’re braking, the amount of steering lock that they’re applying, the amount of kerb they’re taking, where they’re taking their gear shift, where they’re pushing their KERS button.”
Of course, this isn’t to say that other teams do not work like this. However, Red Bull appear to have found a method which works for them and it will be of no surprise if their domination of Formula 1 lasts well into the foreseeable future too.
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