Red Bull Racing won four races on the trot – the first time since 2013.
• Red Bull Racing has won four races on the trot – the first time since 2013.
• The team is embroiled in a fight for the 2021 F1 Championships with Mercedes-AMG.
• Red Bull driver Max Verstappen is on course to win his first Drivers’ Championship.
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Remember the 2013 Formula 1 season? Yup, we do, too. It was a rather predictable season as Sebastian Vettel romped to his fourth Drivers’ Championship without any trouble. That year, Red Bull Racing would also secure their fourth Constructors’ Championship, bringing to a close the V8 era that would be replaced by the engine we have now: a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engine with hybrid technology.
But from the 11th round of the 2013 season onwards, Vettel would win nine races on the trot for Red Bull in what is widely regarded as some of the most dominant displays behind the wheel of an F1 car. In the 19-race season, Vettel would win a total of 13 races – including the final nine races of the season – to put clear daylight behind him and his title rivals. As the season neared its end, Vettel would do burnouts on the start-finish straight after winning some of those nine races, famously saying that he is willing to pay a fine for his actions because he doesn’t know if he’ll ever have such a successful run again.
Well, for both Vettel and Red Bull, the glory years have come and gone. Neither party would ever taste the success they enjoyed together again and would play catchup to the might of Mercedes-AMG and Lewis Hamilton. Their paths have since split. But between the two, it is Red Bull who’s made a turn for the better in 2021, and the team is on course to palm in their first championships in eight years.
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Four wins on the trot
Come 2014 and the advent of the turbo-hybrid era, and it was Mercedes-AMG and Hamilton who would dominate F1. Bar 2016, when Nico Rosberg won the Drivers’ Championship, Hamilton triumphed every single season between then and now. In 2020, Red Bull and wunderkind Max Verstappen stepped up as more significant challengers to the dominant duo but fell short over the entirety of the season. But what 2020 did was to set us up for the dual we’ve been waiting for: Lewis Hamilton versus Max Verstappen.
When the 2021 season got underway, Hamilton drew first blood at the Bahrain Grand Prix. At the next round in Italy, it was Verstappen. The Mercedes driver would take two more wins in Portugal and Spain, and that’s about where the turning point came in. In Monaco, Verstappen took his first win around the Principality. His Red Bull team mate, Sergio Perez, sealed the deal in Azerbaijan. And Verstappen, well, he won again in France and Austria (Styrian GP).
If one recalls history, this is the first time since 2013 that Red Bull Racing has won three or more races on the trot. This is the first time in the new turbo-hybrid era that Mercedes-AMG is on the backfoot. The last time Red Bull Racing was this competitive, they won both championships with Vettel leading the charge. If Verstappen and Red Bull Racing can keep their pace up, it’s not that farfetched to believe that the team could add to their championship gold.
Red Bull’s dominance between 2010 and 2013 is one of the most impressive in F1 history, but to be named the team that ended the most dominant run ever has a far better ring to it.