F1 driver Mark Webber met fans at the Red Bull World pre-launch event held at Orchard Central last Thursday evening.
Red Bull are undoubtedly the most improved Formula One team over the past five years.
The Austrian energy-drink company started its racing team, Red Bull Racing, at the end of the 2004 F1 season. Buying out the struggling Jaguar Racing team, it appointed Christian Horner as team principal from the beginning.
From their debut season – with just 34 points and seventh placing in the Constructors’ Championship – Red Bull Racing have progressed tremendously up to their championship wins in the last two years.
The turning point for the team was probably the time when they recruited renowned designer-engineer Adrian Newey over from McLaren in 2005.
Clinching their first podium at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing’s first pole position and race win was secured in 2009, a season in which they finished second overall to Brawn GP.
Nowadays, the success of Red Bull Racing in F1 is felt in all corners of the globe, including Singapore, which will have a premium concept store called Red Bull World next year.
Said Mark Webber, one of Red Bull’s F1 drivers: “It’s pretty clear that Red Bull as a company in the last 10 years has completely (been) lifted, in terms of profile and awareness for everybody on a global stage, particularly with the success in F1.
“Red Bull is always at the highest level, doing things in the highest-quality way. The first Red Bull World store in Salzburg is going well and it gives people an idea (of what it means) to be part of Red Bull, a trendy and cutting-edge field.
“It was a little bit chaotic but it’s great to see that fans are very keen to see us and that drivers are a huge part of making the sport popular.”
Indeed, the success of the Red Bull F1 team has resulted in great brand value, as witnessed from the massive crowds gathered at the Red Bull World pre-launch event held at the atrium of Orchard Central last Thursday evening.
Webber and his teammate, defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, arrived to deafening screams and cheers, making a brief appearance to meet fans before shuttling back to the paddock.
After Vettel’s dominant season last year in which he claimed a staggering 11 victories, this year’s performance seems poorer in comparison, with only three race wins among the Red Bull drivers so far.
But Horner said: “There was a very big regulation change over the winter that hurt our car more than any others in the pit lane. It has taken us a while to recover from that and we are still in that process.
“Still, we managed to win in Bahrain, Monaco and Silverstone; we are leading the Constructors’ Championship and our drivers are still in the hunt for the Drivers’ Championship. So, it’s been far from a disaster.”
*This was first published for My Paper.