How has a energy drink company managed to compete with the greats car manufactures like Mercedes and Ferrari? .
The activities of the Redbull brand extend to sports, including soccer and motorsports. Photo: Unsplash
LatiAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio
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Leer en español: El secreto de Red Bull para liderar en la Fórmula 1
Red Bull is a well-known Austrian-based enerfy drink company. However, his activities also extend to sports, including soccer and motor racing. They are currently leading the constructors 'and drivers' championships for the 2021 Formula 1 season, beating teams such as Ferrari and Mercedes. What has brought Red Bull back to the top of Formula 1 above teams as strong as those mentioned?
Red Bull, a company that loves sports
The Austrian company is well known around the world for two reasons: first of all its energy drinks with which it has achieved a good position. Compared to competitors like Coca Cola or Pepsi, Red Bull is a young company, it was founded in 1984 and it was in 1987 when they launched their flagship product inspired by a drink that Dietrich Mateschitz, one of its founders, tried in Thailand.
The second issue is that the company is well known for is its foray into sports. Around the world, Red Bull sponsors different teams, tournaments, athletes, real estate, etc. that bear their name. However, the company has gone beyond mere sponsorships, since it has also acquired teams in different sports, so its name is not only synonymous with drinks but with sport itself. Unlike other team-owning companies, Red Bull not only includes its name, but is involved in sports development and seeks to be competitive wherever it invests.
In soccer, for example, the company owns Red Bull Salzburg from Austria; RasenBallsport Leipzig, Germany; the New York Red Bulls, from the United States; and Red Bull Bragantino, from Brazil. They have been successful, especially with the European teams, with whom in addition to titles they have competed in the Champions League. Also, the company owns European hockey teams and buildings such as stadiums and a racetracks.
The Red Bull experience in Formula 1
In addition to success in soccer, Red Bull has accumulated great experience and results in the world of motorsport in various categories. Throughout the world different teams were sponsored by the Austrian company, including Sauber. It was already in the 21st century when the company decided to venture into its own team: Red Bull Racing with Renault engines. The learning curve was fast, since its first season in 2005 and its first championship in 2010, only 5 years passed, it was a golden time for the team, achieving the constructors 'and drivers' championships of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with a young Sebastian Vettel .
A brilliant season with Honda
After their four-time championship, the results began to decline, so the team decided to replace Renault engines with Honda, thus starting a new stage since 2019. Once again they have had to face a learning curve that they have managed to overcome quickly. Just a year ago they achieved the constructors' runner-up, only behind Mercedes, and now, in 2021, they are leading the way in both championships, although there is still a long way to go before the season ends.
One of the most important changes for the current season has been the incorporation of Sergio Pérez to the team. The Mexican has responded with good results by making an efficient pair with Max Verstappen. In the drivers' championship, Verstappen is the leader, while Pérez is third, competing with McLaren's Lando Norris. So, although Red Bull is usually associated with drinks, the reality is that it is not an improvised one in sports matters, including Formula 1. To achieve this, it has surrounded itself with people with experience and trajectory, we can cite the case of the legendary engineer Adrian Newey, responsible for successful designs for Formula 1, including those that gave Red Bull its 4 titles.
Red Bull, on the lookout for Mercedes
Now, the team faces a new problem, after leaving the Renault engines in 2018 and changing them for Honda, the Japanese company has announced that it will leave the competition, therefore, it will no longer produce the engines for Red Bull. Thus, the Austrian team has a new challenge: to produce its own engines in the medium term, which is why it is relying on the Japanese manufacturer to achieve independence. This was one of the advantages of Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, as now the Austrian company is on the verge of eliminating dependence on Honda or any other company for the manufacture of the cars of its two teams: Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri.
And it has not been only in that, Red Bull has taken the mission seriously, it has recruited dozens of specialists mainly from Mercedes , something that the German company did not like, as it has considered it a kind of robbery or a "dirty" move from the Austrians, according to ESPN . The success of this 2021 season, which could culminate in the title, and the creation of Red Bull Powertrains, the division that will be in charge of everything related to engines, have made the company one of the rivals to be beaten by the others teams.