December 5th, 2014 (F1plus/G. Polychronis).- Red Bull Racing have been untouchable in the last four seasons, and the deadly combination of Adrian Newey and Sebastian Vettel has been embarrassing the rest of the field, especially in the 2013 season.
When discussing Red Bull Racing, it is neither an understatement nor an overstatement to say that they have been unstoppable during the last four seasons. It is also easy to say that Sebastian Vettel has been especially unstoppable and is the best Formula One driver since the likes of Michael Schumacher, in terms of success.
These statements are not foreign to the average F1 fan, and the last four seasons – especially 2011 and 2013 – were prime examples of the sheer dominance of Red Bull Racing (RBR). However, there is something that no one in the F1 paddock has discussed, and that is the sheer embarrassment RBR – Vettel and Adrian Newey in particular – caused to their rivals.
It is always said that RBR have strong competitors. In fact, Christian Horner in a post-season interview said “we have some strong opponents.” This is true, the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes are ‘strong opponents’; but this is has only been true for two of the last four seasons. Of course, I am referring to the 2012 and 2010 seasons. You only have to look as far as the ‘Results’ section of the official Formula One website to form a viable opinion on the matter.
I am sure that if you did not even watch any of the races, you would probably still be able to form a viable opinion. In 2012, Ferrari were just 60 points behind RBR and in 2010, McLaren-Mercedes finished only 44 points behind.
The 2013 and 2011 seasons however, were completely different stories. This past season saw RBR finish a staggering 236 points ahead of their closest competitor, Mercedes.
In 2011, RBR scored 153 more points than McLaren-Mercedes. So perhaps F1 fans should be more careful when they are talking about RBR’s competitors. I think a more accurate statement would be, “RBR have strong opponents… sometimes.” I cannot help but feel that Mr. Horner referred to his opponents as ‘strong,’ because he would get in trouble if he said otherwise.
There is absolutely no truth in saying that RBR had ‘strong opponents’ in the 2013 season, as the benchmark for success in any sport, is set by the winner, and if the closest ‘competitor’ is 236 points off the benchmark, then they should not be considered a ‘strong opponent.’ After all, professional sport is all about making money winning.
Much of RBR’s success is mostly due to Adrian Newey and it is safe to say that he has been the main force behind the Red Bull Juggernaut. He has worked wonders at the Milton Keynes based team and his RB9 can be compared – in terms of superiority – to the Ferrari F2004, designed by Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne.
Sebastian Vettel has impeccably proven this to us. He powered the RB9 to an astonishing thirteen race wins, nine of which being won consecutively.
In terms of total championship points, he scored 397, which is 155 more than what Fernando Alonso was able to achieve. RBR acquired 596 Constructors’ Championship points, with 397 of them belonging to Vettel, and 199 of them belonging to Webber.
Mercedes, in second place, finished with 360 points. If you do the calculations, you will discover that Vettel acquired enough points to win the Constructors’ Championship simply on his own. This feat is either extremely impressive orjust plain embarrassing for the rest of the field. I think it is both.
It should be known that when I am referring to ‘the field’ in this context, I refer more to the teams, rather than the drivers, as I am sure that if Newey had been at Ferrari for four years for example, Alonso would have been able to achieve exactly what Vettel has.
I can now easily say that the 2013 season was more a case of Newey embarrassing everyone, rather thanVettel. Mark Webber however, had exactly the same car – or so we were led to believe – and he could not beat his teammate once in this year’s season.
After considering this fact, I am pained to say that Webber was somewhat embarrassed. Knowing Webber however, he would probably laugh in my face for this statement, and after all, he did finish third in the Drivers’ Championship, which is a fantastic note to retire on. His performance in the 2013 season also shows the consistency he was able to produce for his team, as he finished third in the Drivers’ Championship for three out of the last four seasons.
Despite all this, I admittedly cannot help but feel disheartened by how heavily he was overshadowed by his teammate; but that is the nature of competitive sport. The final race in São Paulo perfectly summed up RBR’s last four years: Vettel first, Webber second, Red Bull Racing above all.