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No Bull at Red Bull

One team that looks particularly strong going into 2007 is Red Bull Racing. The RB3 is the first of their cars designed by the legendary Adrian Newey, their additions to the design and engineering departments have made them very strong, and their drivers are tried and tested, well able to deliver the goods. Mark Webber has been talking about his hopes for the coming season and, understandably, he expects the team to be challenging for front row positions.

Red Bull

Red Bull RB2

It all sounds very good but somehow I am not convinced. They will have a better season than in 2006, yes, but I cannot see them winning races just yet. And I find it difficult to say why I feel like that. Maybe it is my natural dislike of teams that throw money at a problem, rather than solving it through hard work and ingenuity. Easy enough to buy all the best guys and then have a strong team, as Chelsea proved in English football.

Yet it is not necessarily a guaranteed route to success. It took Chelsea a couple of seasons to achieve their goal of the Premiership championship and Manchester United always had money and the best players but did not make the breakthrough for thirty years. Does a similar principle apply in F1?

I think it does. Consider how long it took Ferrari to win another championship after Jody Scheckter’s. All their money and personnel changes could not fix their real problem, internal strife and politics, until they hired Jean Todt to get everyone on the same page.

Although Red Bull do not have quite the same problems, they still need someone to pull the team together, someone with the force of character to create a team out of all that talent. Is Christian Horner the man to do it? I’m not sure. He is very young still and has only a couple of years’ experience in F1 to date. Perhaps in another year or two…

In fact, I would really enjoy it if Red Bull were to challenge for race wins. David Coulthard is on what must be his last chance for consistent success and Mark Webber is close to giving it all up as a bad job. This really is the make or break year for them, it seems, and I hope they make it.

The nagging doubts remain, however. I can see them doing a Honda and winning one race during the season, but no more than that. Perhaps it’s just the pessimist in me. Or, even more likely, the fact that I really don’t like their color scheme…

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