How Long Has Red Bull Been in F1?

Published 08/14/2021, 9:35 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 19, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


One of the strongest teams on the grid today, Red Bull, has come a long way from its origins. Where historic teams like Williams, Ferrari, and McLaren have remained the same, other teams, including Red Bull, took a long time to reach their ultimate form.

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From 1997 to 1999, F1 knew the team as Steward GP; in the 2000s, they transformed into the iconic green car under the name of Jaguar. Barring a couple of podiums, the team didn’t do too well in its time. At the end of the 2004 season, the energy drink company we know as Red Bull bought the staggering team.

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The company also purchased Minardi in 2006 and renamed them Toro Rosso. Going into the 2021 season, the team was named AlphaTauri, after Red Bull’s fashion brand. So under the Austrian company, the team has been in the sport for 18 years.

The history of Red Bull

After taking over as sponsors, the team took some time to warm up to the grid. After getting their first podium in 2006, the team picked up pace in 2009.

The 2009 season gave the Milton Keynes outfit six victories, and they stood second on the constructor’s board. The RB5 showed strong pace in the hands of Vettel and Webber, as the team dominated the second half of the season. Red Bull’s performance in 2009 set the tone for what we see today- Red Bull became a worthy competitor to Brawn, now Mercedes.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – NOVEMBER 25: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates with team mates on the podium as he finishes in sixth position and clinches his third consecutive drivers world championship during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 25, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The team claimed double championships between 2012 and 2013. They nurtured rising star Sebastian Vettel, who was the sport’s youngest quadruple champion. After a drop in performance in 2014, RedBull bounced back. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen proved to be an ideal lineup.

Soon, the team dropped to third in the championship again, facing competition from a resurgent Ferrari. this resulted in the team changing their engine provider from Renault to Honda, which turned out to be the right choice for the team. 2019 and 2020 started a slow upward trend for the team, with Verstappen ending the season with 2 wins and 9 podiums.

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Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race REUTERS/Lisi Niesner TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Although, the 2021 season is proving to be very different. History repeats itself in Max Verstappen, who is the team’s new icon. Disrupting the Mercedes domination, the two teams are neck and neck in both the standings.

While circumstances changed for the team, one thing remained constant- Horner. Christian Horner has guided the team since 2004; the team principal has really seen it all. A young Horner made his debut with the team and has stuck by them ever since.

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Watch this story: Top 5 wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 career

Currently second in the championship, Verstappen continues to soldier on for the team. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a team other than the Silver Arrows on top of the board and Red Bull might just be the one to change it.

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Shreya Sanjeev

323 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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