Red Bull Racing Season Wrap-Up
The 2010 Season Review
The season began in Bahrain, as it was to continue for much of the season, with a Red Bull on pole. Sebastian bagged the first front row of the season, but was unable to convert it into a win after mechanical troubles, finishing off the podium. Leaving Sakir Seb was 4th, Mark was 8th and the team was fourth in the championship.
So all eyes were on Australia, Mark’s home race and where Seb had done so well in his debut Red Bull Racing grand prix the year before. While Mark got a magnificent reception (and Seb learned how to throw a boomerang) there was no fairytale as Seb again suffered gremlins and Mark crossed swords with Lewis Hamilton (not for the last time in 2010) but still scored points finishing ninth. He did manage to meet John Travolta. Departing Albert Park Seb was 7th, Mark 10th and the team was a lowly 5th.
Malaysia saw our third pole of the season, this time it was Mark’s but a quick start from Seb had him overtake his teammate at the first corner and took the chequered flag with Mark right behind him. The member of senior management to get blinded with champagne was Adrian Newey. It meant we left KL with Seb 2nd, Mark 8th and the team 3rd in the championship.
The long route home from China proved as much a trial for the team as the race. The Icelandic ash cloud (not for the last time) affected F1’s travel plans and the grand prix in Shanghai wasn’t plain sailing either. Alonso was penalized for jumping the lights and the rain and tyre strategy played its part to give us a 6th (Seb) and 8th (Mark). Not quite the party we had experienced in 2009 race. Seb was now 5th, Mark 8th and team 3rd in the league tables.
The first European race in Barcelona saw Mark take his first victory, Sebastian grab third and both our drivers appointed Wings For Life ambassadors. Mark also celebrated by throwing his helmet into the crowd and making one young supporter a fan for life. That ash cloud had travel agents working overtime again and the team joined the big F1 road trip around the coast to Monte Carlo. We left Spain with Sebastian in 3rd and Mark in 4th, with the team 3rd still in the championship...
2011 SEASON RETROSPECT:
The big question as our drivers lined up in Albert Park for the first race of 2011 was: could we do it again?
You know the score by now: we’re more than happy to report that, 19 races, a clutch of world records and two rather important trophies later, that the answer was 'yes'. And then some.
We started in style Down Under. Sebastian secured the first of our 18 poles of the year, then became the first Red Bull Racing driver to win the Australian Grand Prix. Mark, who qualified in P3, settled for a fifth-place finish after nursing a damaged chassis.
Seb repeated the P1 start, P1 finish-trick in race number two in Malaysia. Mark again qualified in third, dropped 10 places during the race with a Kers issue, before battling his way through the field to cross the line fourth.
Come qualifying in China, and Mark suffered another Kers gremlin, leaving him 18th on the grid. Mr @AussieGrit responded with a masterful drive of determination to secure his first podium of the season with a third-place finish. Sebastian had started on pole in Shanghai, but finished behind winner Lewis Hamilton. As a result, Sebastian’s lead at the top of the drivers’ table was cut to 21 points by the Brit and our constructors' lead cut to 20 points by McLaren.
But, from that moment on, Seb - and the team - would pull away from the pack in dramatic fashion…
Our defending world champion secured successive victories in Turkey, Spain, and, perhaps most satisfyingly of all, Monaco. Mark also chipped in with more than his fair share of points in those races, coming second, fourth and fourth respectively, including his first pole of the year in Barcelona. While Sebastian started and crossed the line first in Monte Carlo for his maiden win in the Principality, Mark pulled out all the stops to finish fourth.
While the points kept raining down on us, everyone got a soaking in the race of the season in Montreal. It was a beautifully chaotic afternoon which ended with a double podium for the team – four hours after the rain-affected race had started. Rising above the water, crashes and controversy, pole-sitter Vettel came home second, followed by his team-mate.
Sebastian followed up with pole and victory in the much drier Valencia, with Mark securing another podium with third at the European GP.
Our Factory home race down the road from our Milton Keynes HQ saw Webber take pole ahead of Vettel, with the Australian finishing the race third, and the German second, behind the Spanish winner, Fernando Alonso.
Was Seb showing signs of a mid-season wobble? Some short-sighted pundits thought so when he could ‘only’ finish fourth at the Nurburgring, but he responded with pole and a second place in the last race before the summer break in Hungary.
Meanwhile, Mark had lost a little ground in the title race with a third in Germany and fifth in Budapest.
Going into the holidays, Sebastian topped the table with a massive 234 points haul to second-placed Mark’s 149. There was also a more-than-comfortable gap between us and second-placed McLaren in the constructors’ championship – we had 383 points to their 280.
Summer over with, Sebastian came to Spa fully recharged. In Belgium, Italy and Singapore he took pole and the chequered flag, meaning he needed just a point from the final five races to sew up the title.
Singapore also saw Webber, Alonso and Hamilton eliminated from the title race, with only Jenson Button, mathematically at least, still in it. Mark had finished second in Belgium for a Red Bull Racing 1-2 and third in Singapore, with his only retirement of the season coming between those races at Monza.
Inevitably, Seb clinched his second successive world championship in Japan after a steady and sensible drive to third place – with four races to spare. There were celebrations, but we also had one eye on wrapping up the other title.
The feat was achieved in the very next race, Korea. Another Seb win and Mark’s third place clinched the constructors’ title – and we still had three races to go!
In the inaugural Indian GP we continued to make history – despite having nothing to play for, being double champions, and all. Sebastian became youngest driver to score a grand cheleem – that’s a pole, win, fastest lap and leading every lap. Mark came fourth, as he did in the next race in Abu Dhabi before finally getting his maiden win of 2011 in Brazil in some style.
As for Sebastian, he suffered his only DNF of the year in Abu Dhabi, and followed Mark over the line in the last race of 2011 in Interlagos, where he also broke Nigel Mansell’s record of poles in a season.
Over the campaign, Seb won 11 races to Mark’s one, 15 poles to his team-mate’s three, with Mark racking up seven fastest laps and Sebastian three.
Off track and the Red Bull party was, as ever, in full swing. In Monaco the Energy Station became a living art gallery for an evening, and party central for the whole weekend. We’d rubbed shoulders with the likes of dance music royalty Fatboy Slim, rock royalty Kasabian, pop royalty Sir Paul McCartney and bona fide royalty, HRH Prince Harry.
But, looking back, on track in 2011, we ruled...
|1||Australian Grand Prix||1||1|
|2||Malaysian Grand Prix||1||1|
|3||Chinese Grand Prix||1||2|
|4||Turkish Grand Prix||1||1|
|5||Spanish Grand Prix||2||1|
|6||Monaco Grand Prix||1||1|
|7||Canadian Grand Prix||1||2|
|8||European Grand Prix||1||1|
|9||British Grand Prix||2||2|
|10||German Grand Prix||3||4|
|11||Hungarian Grand Prix||1||2|
|12||Belgian Grand Prix||1||1|
|13||Italian Grand Prix||1||1|
|14||Singapore Grand Prix||1||1|
|15||Japanese Grand Prix||1||3|
|16||Korean Grand Prix||2||1|
|17||Indian Grand Prix||1||1|
|18||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||1||DNF|
|19||Brazilian Grand Prix||1||2|
|1||Australian Grand Prix||3||5|
|2||Malaysian Grand Prix||3||4|
|3||Chinese Grand Prix||18||3|
|4||Turkish Grand Prix||2||2|
|5||Spanish Grand Prix||1||4|
|6||Monaco Grand Prix||3||4|
|7||Canadian Grand Prix||4||3|
|8||European Grand Prix||2||3|
|9||British Grand Prix||1||3|
|10||German Grand Prix||1||3|
|11||Hungarian Grand Prix||6||5|
|12||Belgian Grand Prix||3||2|
|13||Italian Grand Prix||5||DNF|
|14||Singapore Grand Prix||2||3|
|15||Japanese Grand Prix||6||4|
|16||Korean Grand Prix||4||3|
|17||Indian Grand Prix||2||4|
|18||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||4||4|
|19||Brazilian Grand Prix||2||1|