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Top 10 Red Bull F1 drivers ranked: Vettel, Verstappen, Perez and more

Six drivers’ and five constructors’ titles headline a Red Bull Formula 1 CV that now includes 100 world championship grand prix wins – only the fifth team to reach the milestone after Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

It also has a major junior driver programme, which has launched the careers of many successful drivers, including Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

For this list of top 10 F1 drivers, we’ve taken into account the amount of success the racers scored with Red Bull and its sister team Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri, the impact they had and the circumstances of their time within the Red Bull fold. It doesn’t count their achievements at other teams.

10. Alexander Albon 

Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing

Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Team years: 2019 (Toro Rosso), 2019-20 (Red Bull)
Races with the teams: 38 (12 Toro Rosso, 26 Red Bull)
Team wins: 0
Team titles: 0

Sebastien Buemi or Jaime Alguersuari could have taken this spot. Both had their moments at Toro Rosso and were part of the programme longer than Albon, with Buemi also going on to serious achievements in the World Endurance Championship and Formula E.

But Albon, with a surprise and late call-up, made it into the lead Red Bull squad – and scored podiums once there.

Albon was on the verge of an FE programme when Daniel Ricciardo leaving Red Bull triggered a shuffle that put Pierre Gasly alongside Max Verstappen and Albon into Toro Rosso, as team-mate to Daniil Kvyat.

The Anglo-Thai proved capable of bouncing back from crashes and showed flashes of brilliance, including a drive to sixth place in the German GP, his first experience of an F1 car in the wet.

With Gasly struggling, Albon was promoted to the Red Bull squad for September’s Belgian GP, just his 13th F1 start. Although he too failed to get close to Verstappen, Albon didn’t get as mired in the midfield as much as Gasly and did enough to keep the drive for 2020.

Sadly, he wasn’t able to do enough in his second F1 season. There were two podiums, but Albon was again too far away from Verstappen and was rarely close enough to help Red Bull with strategic options. He was dropped at the end of 2020, though Red Bull placed him in the DTM ahead of Albon’s F1 return with Williams for 2022.

9. Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing RB12

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing RB12

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Team years: 2014 (Toro Rosso), 2015-16 (Red Bull), 2016-17 (Toro Rosso), 2019-20 (Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri)
Races with the teams: 110 (89 Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri, 21 Red Bull)
Team wins: 0
Team titles: 0

Has anyone had quite as many Red Bull chances as Daniil Kvyat? Helped by his 89 starts for Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri, the Russian is the third-highest points scorer for the ‘B’ team, behind Gasly and Carlos Sainz Jr.

After becoming GP3 champion, Kvyat graduated to F1 in 2014. He did well enough alongside the experienced Jean-Eric Vergne (who outscored Kvyat 22-8) to take the Red Bull seat vacated by Ferrari-bound Vettel for 2015.

Kvyat was second in the chaotic Hungarian GP and scored three more points than unfortunate team-mate Ricciardo, though the Australian remained at the head of Red Bull’s charge.

Kvyat took another podium in the 2016 Chinese GP, the third round of the season, but already he was in trouble given Verstappen’s rapid rise. The Dutchman replaced him for round five, something Kvyat struggled to process while back at Toro Rosso, not helped by the fact Verstappen won first time out for Red Bull in the Spanish GP.

Kvyat’s struggles continued in 2017 and he lacked consistency. He was dropped after crashing out of the Singapore GP, though scored a point in his one-off ‘return’ in the US GP.

A year out as Ferrari’s simulator driver preceded another Toro Rosso deal for 2019. He did a solid job, though struggled to match Gasly when the Frenchman joined him after being replaced by Albon at Red Bull.

Gasly was well ahead in the renamed AlphaTauri team in 2020, scoring more than twice Kvyat’s points tally. Kvyat, despite some strong performances, was finally replaced for 2021 by the next potential star in the Red Bull junior ranks, Yuki Tsunoda.

8. Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Team years: 2017-18 (Toro Rosso), 2019 (Red Bull), 2019-22 (Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri)
Races with the teams: 108 (96 Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri, 12 Red Bull)
Team wins: 1
Team titles: 0

Judged just on his time at the senior squad, Gasly would not be as high on this list. But his performances with the Toro Rosso and rebranded AlphaTauri team proved that the Frenchman is one of the leading talents in F1’s tight midfield.

Another graduate of Red Bull’s junior programme, Gasly made five starts for Toro Rosso at the end of 2017 before his first full campaign alongside Brendon Hartley. Gasly won the intra-team fight in 2018, nailed the days when the Toro Rosso was competitive and earned a Red Bull seat when Ricciardo walked out.

His 12-race stint at the ‘A’ team was marked by struggles to get close to Verstappen, racing slower cars in the midfield and some issues working with the team to find solutions. He was replaced by Albon and returned to Toro Rosso, but quickly recovered from the setback.

Gasly then became one of F1’s most impressive performers. He scored a fine podium in the 2019 Brazilian GP and led the line for AlphaTauri. Had F1 rookie Tsunoda come close to matching Gasly’s 2021 score, the team would have beaten Alpine for fifth in the constructors’ championship.

And, of course, there was the special day at Monza in 2020. Gasly took advantage of a safety car and Lewis Hamilton/Mercedes error to hold off Carlos Sainz’s McLaren to win the Italian GP.

Despite the success it became clear Gasly was never going to get back to the main Red Bull squad and, after a generally disappointing 2022 season with the awkward AT03, he finally left for pastures new at Alpine.

7. Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Toro Rosso

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Team years: 2015-17 (Toro Rosso)
Races with the team: 56
Team wins: 0
Team titles: 0

Is Sainz the talent that Red Bull let get away? Given his performances at McLaren and Ferrari since 2019, it’s easy to think so.

The Spaniard entered F1 with Toro Rosso in 2015 as fellow rookie Verstappen’s team-mate. Verstappen scored more points, but much of the gap was down to car unreliability. Sainz edged Verstappen 10-9 in qualifying and the fact there was tension indicated they saw each other as rivals.

When Verstappen was promoted to the Red Bull team after just four races of 2016, Sainz comfortably outperformed new team-mate Kvyat and led Toro Rosso’s attack. He was also brilliant in 2017, his seventh place in the Chinese GP being one of the best drives of the season, and he scored all but five of the team’s 53 points.

But he was also heading out the door. Sainz contested the last four GPs in 2017 for Renault, his home for 2018 before the successful switch to McLaren. More than five years after Sainz left, only Gasly has racked up more points for Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri.

6. Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates on the podium

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates on the podium

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Team years: 2021-present (Red Bull)
Races with the team: 52
Team wins: 5
Team titles: 0

After trying both Gasly and Albon in the seat vacated by Ricciardo, Red Bull looked outside its own pool of drivers for 2021. Racing Point star Perez was signed in an attempt to give Verstappen some support in his fight against Mercedes.

It was partially successful. Perez sometimes provided useful back-up, most notably in the Azerbaijan (which he won), French, Turkish and Abu Dhabi GPs. But he was also too often off the frontrunning pace.

With just eight points separating Verstappen and Hamilton at the top of the drivers’ table, it was Valtteri Bottas’s 36-point margin over Perez that ensured Mercedes took its eighth consecutive constructors’ crown. The RB16B was undoubtedly tricky to drive but it also had a small advantage over the opposition more often than not.

Perez nevertheless kept his seat for 2022, which meant he got his hands on the pacesetting RB18 in which Verstappen took a record-breaking 15 wins. Perez scored two, including a fine performance in Singapore, but was beaten to second in the standings by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

So far in 2023, Red Bull’s advantage looks even bigger. Perez started well, combining his prowess on street venues Jeddah and Baku with Verstappen misfortune to win, but has since struggled to match his team-mate. It seems unlikely Perez will be able to mount a championship challenge, but he’ll be part of a second constructors’ title success and could be runner-up depending on how quickly other teams can close the gap to the RB19.

Perez has moved up two spots on this list since it was first published in early 2022, but he’ll need to get consistently closer to Verstappen to climb higher.

5. David Coulthard

David Coulthard, Red Bull Racing

David Coulthard, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Sutton Images

Team years: 2005-08 (Red Bull)
Races with the team: 71
Team wins: 0
Team titles: 0

Coulthard’s Red Bull record – two podiums across four seasons – does not look impressive when compared to some on this list. But the 13-time GP winner was an important part of the team’s early days following Red Bull’s purchase of the Jaguar squad.

One of the first key signings for Red Bull supremo Dietrich Mateschitz and team boss Christian Horner, Coulthard brought nine years of experience of McLaren’s title-winning operation.

Coulthard took a surprise fourth first time out in the 2005 Australian GP, scored the team’s first F1 podium at Monaco the following year, and outscored his various Red Bull team-mates across 2005-07, including Mark Webber. Only in his final season in 2008 was he truly outperformed (by Webber), but even then there was another podium finish in the Canadian GP.

Coulthard continued working as a Red Bull consultant after hanging up his helmet and, in his 2018 book The Winning Formula, said: “One of my most rewarding experiences was to use the final years of my racing career to help develop Red Bull Racing into becoming a dominant team.”

4. Mark Webber

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing RB7

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing RB7

Photo by: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

Team years: 2007-13 (Red Bull)
Races with the team: 129
Team wins: 9
Team titles: 0

Webber was a loyal Red Bull lieutenant over the seven years he was with the team, which he helped become a frontrunner. When Red Bull set the pace in F1, Webber usually had to give best to Vettel and had to settle for nine wins and a trio of third places in the championship as his team-mate racked up four titles.

Webber’s best chance came in 2010. Four wins and three seconds put him 14 points clear of Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso with three rounds to go. But he crashed out of the Korean GP in tricky conditions and Red Bull – rightly as it turned out – allowed Vettel to stay ahead in Brazil.

That meant Alonso led Webber by eight points going into the Abu Dhabi finale, with Vettel a further seven adrift. Ferrari covered Webber’s moves in the race, Red Bull kept Vettel on the optimum strategy and it was the German who won both the GP and title.

Vettel also adapted to the blown diffuser concept better and was usually the clear team leader after 2010. Webber bowed out of Red Bull and F1 after a 2013 season in which Vettel took the title with 13 wins and he failed to win once.

3. Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, dives into the swimming pool on the Red Bull Energy Station

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, dives into the swimming pool on the Red Bull Energy Station

Photo by: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

Team years: 2012-13 (Toro Rosso), 2014-18 (Red Bull)
Races with the teams: 139 (39 Toro Rosso, 100 Red Bull)
Team wins: 7
Team titles: 0

The struggles Red Bull has had with its second car since Ricciardo left underline just how good the Australian was alongside Verstappen.

After showing flashes of brilliance at Toro Rosso in 2012-13, Ricciardo joined the main squad for the start of the new turbo-hybrid era and immediately put four-time champion Vettel in the shade.

Ricciardo took three wins when the dominant Mercedes team found drama and was a comfortable third in the 2014 drivers’ standings. The following season was tougher amid some bad luck but Ricciardo bounced back in 2016, again finishing third in the table and taking victory in Malaysia. For the second time, he topped Autosport’s Top 50 drivers table at the end of the year.

By now he had the highly rated Verstappen as his team-mate, but the Dutchman was still prone to some wild moments and errors. Ricciardo beat Verstappen in the points in 2017 and then won both the Chinese and Monaco GPs early the following season as Verstappen made mistakes that allowed opportunities to slip away.

But the tide was turning. It was clear the team momentum was behind Verstappen and, as the youngster got into his stride, Ricciardo found life more difficult. He finished well behind Verstappen in the 2018 standings and shocked Red Bull by heading to Renault at season’s end.

After two difficult years at McLaren, Ricciardo returned to Red Bull for 2023 as its reserve driver, but it seems unlikely he’ll get the chance to return to previous heights.

2. Max Verstappen

Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Team years: 2015-16 (Toro Rosso), 2016-present (Red Bull)
Races with the teams: 171 (23 Toro Rosso, 148 Red Bull)
Team wins: 41
Team titles: 2 (2021-22)

Verstappen is on his way to reaching the top of this list. He’s already scored the highest number of points and wins for Red Bull, albeit over more races than the number one driver in our ranking, and is probably the most complete driver in this top 10. But he hasn’t quite got there yet in terms of titles and team significance.

With Mercedes also looking at a potential deal with the rising Dutch star, Red Bull gave Verstappen his F1 debut in 2015 at the age of just 17. He quickly impressed with Toro Rosso and earned a graduation to the main squad for round five of the 2016 season, replacing the disappointing Kvyat.

Helped by the clash between Mercedes team-mates Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the start of the Spanish GP, Verstappen was able to hold off Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen to take a sensational victory.

His early years were characterised by impressive speed, bold overtaking, the odd mistake and some dubious conduct in wheel-to-wheel combat, his moves under braking in particular attracting criticism.

Having been outscored by team-mate Ricciardo in 2017, Verstappen also had to watch the Australian win both the Chinese and Monaco GPs early the following season after throwing away his own chances. Though he never admitted it publicly, this appeared to lead to a slightly changed approach.

Since then, Verstappen’s mistakes have been few and far between, and he has seemed less on the ragged edge. He gained ascendency at Red Bull during 2018, won two races and, when Ricciardo left to join Renault, became the clear team leader.

Verstappen was outstanding sniping for victories and podiums against the dominant Mercedes cars of 2019-20, twice finishing third in the drivers’ standings.

Top 10: Mercedes grand prix cars ranked

The rule changes for 2021 gave Red Bull a small advantage over Mercedes, setting up a dramatic duel between Verstappen and Hamilton for the crown. Both made errors and put in some outstanding performances, with Verstappen coming out on top on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi GP showdown following controversial decisions from race control.

PLUS: The call Masi should have made to ensure the 2021 finale had the integrity F1 deserved

Since initial issues were overcome, Red Bull has been the pacesetter in the new ground effect era and Verstappen the driver to beat. He took a record-setting 15 wins in 2022 and now seems well on his way to a third consecutive title.

1. Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB6

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB6

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Team years: 2007-08 (Toro Rosso), 2009-14 (Red Bull)
Races with the teams: 138 (25 Toro Rosso, 113 Red Bull)
Team wins: 39 (1 for Toro Rosso, 38 for Red Bull)
Team titles: 4 (2010-13)

Red Bull’s original F1 prodigy, Vettel is the only driver on this list to have won for both Toro Rosso and its big brother. His win at a wet Italian GP in 2008 remains one of his most memorable performances.

PLUS: Ranking F1’s greatest wet-weather drives

Vettel’s graduation to Red Bull coincided with F1’s new rules and a reset of the competitive order. Adrian Newey’s RB5 ended up as the season’s fastest car but a combination of the odd slip-up and Jenson Button’s fine early form with Brawn meant the crown stayed just out of reach.

It didn’t for long. Vettel came out on top in a dramatic four-way title fight in 2010, then dominated the following year, winning 11 of the 19 races. The 2012 fight was closer as Alonso excelled himself at Ferrari, but Vettel was able to do enough at the season finale, recovering from an early spin to take sixth and the title by three points.

Vettel swept to 13 wins from 19 GPs in 2013 to make it four consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

The arrival of the turbo-hybrid rules finally knocked Red Bull from its perch and Vettel didn’t initially like the new cars. After being beaten by new team-mate Ricciardo he left to join Ferrari for a new challenge.

Top 10: Sebastian Vettel’s top F1 wins ranked

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 2013 Indian GP

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 2013 Indian GP

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Photographic

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