[F1 2019 VIDEO FEATURE] SEASON REVIEW: RED BULL RACING

Red Bull Racing began 2019 with a new engine supplier in Honda, and expectations of a rebuilding season with the Japanese engine doing the least mileage in pre-season testing. 1000 laps fewer than Ferrari.

But the squad, in Tokyo ahead of the season opener, was bullish that it would be stronger in the season’s second half, which included Honda’s home race at its own test track, Suzuka.

SOUNDBITE (English) MAX VERSTAPPEN,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“Let’s see if we are able to do that. But I think a lot of races in front of that where we will try to do our best all the time. Hopefully by Suzuka we’ll have a very competitive package.”

The first eight races were dominated by Mercedes but Red Bull made the most of its opportunities. At Austria’s Red Bull Ring, where high-altitude and heat slowed the Silver Arrows… 

Max Verstappen storming to the win, despite dropping back to seventh at the start, blasting past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc two laps from home. For his second-straight win at Red Bull’s home track.

Two races later in Germany, Verstappen ruled again in chaotic conditions despite a spin and five pit-stops. 

But his chance at another win before the summer break in Hungary was thwarted, Lewis Hamilton taking a surprise second stop to catch and pass him just three laps from home.

The tough news continued into the break, with Red Bull switching Pierre Gasly with rookie Alexander Albon…after the Frenchman failed to make an impression in his top-team debut.

Across their 12 races together, Verstappen outqualified Gasly 11-1, and went 10-1 in races when they could be compared, with 181 points to 63. Too huge a gap for Red Bull to endure.

Albon proved a revelation - finishing in the top six in eight of the last nine races and was set for a podium in Brazil until Lewis Hamilton tapped him into a spin, where his teammate won. He also matched Verstappen’s Q3 time in Japan.

SOUNDBITE (English) ALEXANDER ALBON,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
"Yeah I mean, I think the progress is happening, I feel like every weekend is getting better and better, when I look at it a bit.”

Next year, Verstappen expects a title campaign, for the team to retain him into 2021, while Albon should be even closer. Red Bull again proving to be F1’s dark horse.