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The 10 steps to win in Formula One

By Anthony RowlinsonEvents - 12 September 2012 1:12 PM | Updated 04 September 2014

The 10 steps to win in Formula One

In a sport that measures success in hundredths of a second and separates heroes from also-rans by mere thousandths, it’s the tiniest advantages that make the biggest differences. Here are some of the pieces of the Formula One jigsaw that give Red Bull Racing that elusive edge.


1 Military precision

Under the vigilant gaze of team principal Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing has been whip-cracked into a pin-sharp trackside operation. Faced this year with a gruelling race schedule and tyres-only pitstops to be turned around in just three seconds, the Red Bull Racing pitcrew undertook pre-season training sessions in the same Champneys Tring grounds that Premiership and Championship footballers use, to sharpen their physiques, improve their eye-hand co-ordination and prepare themselves for F1’s unique pressures.

2 Home comforts 

If an army marches on its stomach then it’s no surprise the Red Bull Racing boys are generally pretty content. The ‘Energy Station’ that accompanies the team to all European Races, as well as some of those further afield, is a mobile HQ for the race crew. At all hours it provides top-notch food, shelter and a welcome respite from the mad cacophony of the pitlane…

3 Location, location

The ‘global cottage industry’ that is F1 car manufacture can count a small region 100km north-west of London as its heartland. Six teams are based here, including Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes, as are F1 engine makers and countless small specialist suppliers. The talent pool available to teams based in ‘motorsport silicon valley’ is unmatched anywhere in the world. Red Bull Racing is at the epicentre of the action.(Photos: Thomas Butler)


4 Racing’s in the blood

When Red Bull entered F1 with Red Bull Racing, in 2005, it did so as a team owner, not merely as a sponsor. Motorsport runs deep through Red Bull’s DNA and its commitment to success in motorsport’s premier league has allowed the team to attract top-level talent, such as…


5 Adrian Newey

No one man can be singled out for the team’s success, but Adrian Newey, as F1’s pre-eminent technical brain of the modern era, deserves special mention. The breakthrough victory came at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, for Red Bull Racing’s sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, in a chassis designed in Milton Keynes. Then in 2009 the brilliant RB5 car came within a sniff of the drivers’ and constructors’ world titles. The team clinched the constructors' championships for two years in a row in 2010-2011. This year, with seven races to go, the team leads the pack with 272 points.



6 Written in the wind

Aerodynamic performance is the single most important performance component in contemporary F1 and top teams carry out much of that development in multimillion- dollar wind tunnels, resulting in the intricately formed bodies familiar as F1 cars. Red Bull Racing’s wind tunnel, in Bedford, used to belong to Britain’s Ministry of Defence. In its first life it was used to develop missiles and, later, Concorde. Next job: the RB8.


7 Even better than the real thing

Off-season testing of F1 cars was cut back drastically last year, to help teams control costs, but the lack of ‘track time’ has frustrated some development programmes. In an effort to get around this, leading teams have invested heavily in simulator technology. Rumour has it Red Bull Racing’s simulator programme is the most advanced of any team.


8 Who’s better, who’s best?

In Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing has team-mates who would make it into any pundit’s ‘top 5’ and this year they’re more closely matched than ever. By mid-season, they had won three races between them.

Sebastian Vettel

Mark Webber

9 If it ain’t bust…

As any student of F1 history knows, the teams that have achieved the greatest success over a prolonged period have always enjoyed stability of funding, management and personnel. Red Bull Racing, with an unchanged 2012 driver line-up, stable management and an incrementally improved chassis, are attempting to follow that model.


10 You gotta want it

From mid-grid in 2006, to title challengers by 2009, Red Bull Racing have come a long way, fast. But despite the success already achieved, none in this team will rest ’til those elusive titles have been won.


2014 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix| Date: 19-21 September 2014 | Venue: Marina Bay Street Circuit | Tickets: $38-$1,088 from 


F1 2014: Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix

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