Red Bull enjoyed their fair share of dominance early on in the last decade. Over the years, they have boasted a lineup of quality drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
The biggest highlight was obviously Red Bull and star driver Vettel sealing four Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles in a row. A sheer sense of invincibility had gripped the workings of the team.
But, when the turbo hybrid engines era begun in 2013, Red Bull were overshadowed by Mercedes’ efforts. Daniel Ricciardo joined the team to give a strong challenge to Vettel. And the German driver slowly realized that Ricciardo was indeed faster than him.
There was speculation at the time that Vettel was set to move, because Red Bull were prioritizing Daniel Ricciardo. But, the Australian driver has moved to quash these rumors, stating that he thinks Vettel left the team to pursue a new challenge.
In an interview with F1-Insider, he said, “I was proud because I did a good job. But to be honest, I was also a little sad that he left. I would have loved to drive another season with him.
“Even if the second season would have been more difficult. But I think I wasn’t the reason he left Red Bull. He achieved so much with them and he just needed a new challenge at the time.” (translated from Google Translate)
A new challenge did arrive in the form of Scuderia Ferrari. When the racing giants came calling, Vettel moved there.
The 2014 Formula 1 season was the last of the pair, where Red Bull ended in second place behind Mercedes. Daniel Ricciardo put in better performances, which included 3 race wins and 5 podium finishes. That saw him take third place in the Drivers’ standings.
By contrast, Vettel was poor by his own standards in his final season with the team. Failing to seal even a single race victory, the German ended up with three 3rd place finishes.
Seven years later, they will now be embroiled in the fight for third with their respective teams. While Daniel Ricciardo would be joining McLaren, Sebastian Vettel will turn out for Aston Martin F1 Racing.