How Red Bull's gateway F1 car overcame a baked-in disadvantage
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How Red Bull's gateway F1 car overcame a baked-in disadvantage

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The RB5 was the first Red Bull to win a GP but, as STUART CODLING explains, the early success of the car in 2009 was somewhat against the run of form

Way back when – OK, a little over a decade ago – Red Bull wasn’t yet the all-guns-blazing championship contender it’s subsequently become. All the ingredients were there: Adrian Newey at the draughting board, the ultra-ambitious Christian Horner growing into his team principal role, and a young and hungry pitcrew servicing a pair of drivers in which the fire still burned. With the addition of Sebastian Vettel and the RB5, all those winning elements aligned to achieve their potential – eventually.

It had taken time for Newey, with Horner’s unwavering support, to purge the design team of bad habits hanging over from Red Bull Racing’s previous existence as Jaguar. In 2001 Newey had flirted with the idea of leaving McLaren and joining Jaguar, lured by the prospect of working with his old friend Bobby Rahal, but developed cold feet as the scale of the company’s internal politics became manifest.

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