On the 3rd of February, the Oracle Red Bull Racing team showcased their upcoming title contender, the RB19, the car that Red Bull will use to defend both of their titles. In true Red Bull fashion, the car was revealed in a spectacular New York launch event, where we could see it in all of its glory and, of course, learn more about the upcoming goals and the general demeanor of the team. Red Bull are coming off their best season in almost a decade, so surely they are the ones to beat. With drivers and the constructors championship secured, they are sitting nicely at the top of the hill, so the question is, will anyone be able to topple the mighty bull?
Drivers and Crew
Unless motorsport is a completely new world to you, everyone should know the name Max Verstappen. Arguably the most talented driver we’ve seen in recent years, Verstappen exploded onto the scene back in 2015. After his rookie year with Toro Rosso, Max secured his Red Bull seat in 2016 and that’s where he has remained ever since. Going into 2023 he has 2 world championships, 35 wins, 77 podiums, and 20 pole positions. Max, without a doubt, is the driver to beat and that will be no easy feat either. If Red Bull can maintain their momentum, then we might just see him cruising to his 3rd title, but you know how things are with F1, anything and everything can happen.
His right-hand man throughout the 21 and 22 campaigns has been the Mexican Sergio Perez. He is a true veteran of the sport now entering his 13th season, having started his F1 journey with Sauber back in 2011. His entry into Red Bull has been a bit coincidental, but there is no denying that Perez has superb talent. For the most part, Perez has played a strong second-driver role, and for the majority of the time he has been fine with it, although we saw some sparks fly between both teammates in the latter phase of the 2022 season. Still, this line-up is as strong as ever, so the constructors championship is the main objective. Going into the 2023 season, Perez has 4 wins, 26 podiums and a single pole position.
Looking at the rest of the crew, Christian Horner is still the man of the house, managing all team affairs and calling all of the shots. He has been with the team since the very beginning and his role has been crucial in the rising success of the Milton Keynes-based team. An equally important piece of the whole Red Bull project has been their Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey. The sheer brilliance of this man has often propelled Red Bull to new heights, and he is one of the main reasons why Red Bull are always in a position of relevancy. Other than that, Red Bull haven’t revamped their team with massive changes apart from nicking a couple of engineers from the Mercedes camp. They did, however, acquire the services of Daniel Ricciardo as their reserve driver, and some fans already speculate his return to the main line-up in 2024.
Past and Future
The very first years for Red Bull, roughly from 2005 to 2008, were a bit forgettable, but ever since Sebastian Vettel joined their driver lineup in 2009, they have enjoyed the sweet fruits of victory. After the V6 era began in 2014, Red Bull managed to remain a TOP 3 team. Sure, the team wasn’t the same as it was during the last years of V8, but they never gave up, and in 2021 and 2022, they made their bid to be the best in the world once again.
Continuing their dominant form won’t be easy because the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes have made strong strides to improve, so this season promises to be much closer than the last one. Speaking of upcoming plans, major headlines were created when Red Bull announced their future partnership with Ford. Yes, the great American brand once again returns to the traveling F1 circus as a future engine supplier for Red Bull. The first power units will be produced starting from 2026, so there is still some time for Red Bull and Honda to enjoy the last moments of their fruitful partnership.
We’ll get our first taste of the RB19 in the Sakhir pre-season testing, which will take place from the 23rd of February until the 25th. After that, the opening race of the season is scheduled on the 5th of March, happening on that same Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, so we’re not that far off from the first “lights out and away we go” of 2023.