Red Bull is the best team in Formula One.
So, the Chinese Grand Prix has finished, and in a word, it was amazing. It saw different strategies, wheel-to-wheel action and had everyone on the edge of their seats. But from this vast amount of action, one team shined brighter than the rest: Red Bull.
What did they do well in China?
Firstly, the Red Bull mechanics managed to change Ricciardo's engine in record time, after a major blunder from Renault: they didn't have a complete engine ready, so in the words of Christian Horner, "there’s a few bits that have had to go from one to another". After just under two hours, and with only two minutes remaining in the first part of qualifying, they managed to get Ricciardo out on track. After scraping through the first session after having only one lap to make it through, he eventually went on to qualify in sixth, two-tenths behind teammate Max Verstappen. After qualifying, he said that: "I’m happy to have got out in qualifying and I want to thank the mechanics for doing such a great job,” said Ricciardo. “I think they have broken their own record for an engine change several times and they did it again today". I think this shows on its own how much of a team sport Formula One is, and how impressive the effort from the mechanics was.
Then, when it came to the race, the team executed two, yes two, double pit stops which were timed perfectly. As you would expect, after all of the problems the sport has been having with it's pit stops, there were a few teams that were a bit on the cautious side when it was their turn. However, Red Bull seemingly, and rightly, had complete faith in their crew, and they stacked the cars in such a brilliant fashion that in the first round of stops, Verstappen (who was in first) had a 2.4 second stop, and then Ricciardo (the second into the box) had a 2.3 second stop (you would expect the second stop to be slower as the team don't have much time to prepare).
Before the safety car was deployed, it looked as if a Red Bull podium was highly doubtful, nevermind a Red Bull victory. However, then the sister Toro-Rosso's crashed into each other, and the debris left on the track meant that, you guessed it, the safety car was deployed. When this happened, Red Bull made the lightning fast call to bring both drivers into the pits, which won the race for Ricciardo, and gave Max the opportunity to win it. Now, part of this was down to ideal track position at the time that the safety car was deployed, but the strategists at the team were faster to react than both Mercedes and Ferrari (with Hamilton and Raikkonen), and without such quick thinking, I can say with almost certainty they would not have won the race.
I'm not just talking about this weekend...
I think that Red Bull have shown the best teamwork consistently for the past few seasons, as they have made the most out of an engine that hasn't been the best to say the least. Whether it be down to two of the best drivers in the grid in overtaking-master Daniel Ricciardo or the upcoming champion that is Max Verstappen, a great strategy or generally capitalising on any mistakes from its rivals, you can guarantee Red Bull will be in the mix.
Another point that I think is worth bringing up is the team's attitude towards their drivers: they treat them fairly and equally (although this was not the case in the past). By this, I am not saying that Red Bull are the only ones who do this, but rather I am pointing out that I don't think that there is another team who get on so well with their drivers, and another team where the drivers get on so well with each other. This is often demonstrated by the vast amount of content the team puts on its YouTube channel of the drivers doing, let's call them interesting, challenges. The team morale is also shown on the team radio, where you never hear the drivers moaning at the team, which many up and down the grid do (looking at you, Kevin). The team also has never compromised one of the driver's races by using them as a block to the advantage of the other driver, something we have seen both Mercedes and Ferrari do in the last two races alone. Ferrari has shown itself to do this a little too often for my liking however, as they repeatedly disrespect and compromise Raikkonen to improve Vettel's race. That is something for a different article, however.
Yet another reason that I shall point out as to why Red Bull are the best team in Formula One, is how open they are to the media. What I mean by this is when you tune into the coverage of any session, Christian Horner is always there and ready for an interview. I know what you're thinking, that this has absolutely no effect on the championship, but it does have an effect on the viewers watching at home. This is because everyone wants to hear from their favourite team, and it's pretty annoying when the presenters are snubbed by teams. Again, Ferrari have been the worst when it comes to this, with Maurizio Arrivabene often just walking off or giving a straight 'no' to the media. McLaren, up until recently, also were pretty bad when it came to giving interviews, due to the leadership of Ron Dennis. Giving honest, and regular interviews to the media gives the team a good public image, and that is what is surprisingly important in a championship (not to mention the ever-smiling Ricciardo).
To conclude, I think Red Bull are the best team in the sport right now. However, don't confuse this with my personal preference, as I am a long-time supporter of McLaren, and am not going to change teams. This article is purely to show why I think Red Bull are the best 'team' in Formula One, but that doesn't mean other teams are bad or that you are wrong not to support Red Bull. I think that Red Bull have the team spirit that all of the teams in the paddock should try to emulate, and they really show the sport in the best possible light. They have two amazing drivers, great leadership, top class, passionate engineers and plenty of support from F1 fans.
I have also written this article to point out how much of a team sport Formula One is, and how people forget that. Everybody focuses on the drivers and how they perform, but then forget about the 700+ people in the factory and on the race team that have made the result possible. This weekend, Red Bull have shown just what is possible when everybody in the team works together perfectly, and they were rewarded for this.
What do you think?
I am fully aware that many people are going to disagree with this article. Feel free to comment down below, vote in the poll and give a counter argument. And finally, if you liked this, have a look at some of my other articles and don't forget to join the tribe!