Photo: Flickr Scott Eckert
Sebastian Vettel continues to dominate at a jaw-dropping rate in 2011. He’s taken the checkered flag in five of the six Grand Prix races this season. But it’s not just talent; it’s the culmination of years of plotting and planning.
Click here to see Red Bull’s rise to the top >
Since Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz took over the team and re-branded them as Red Bull Racing, they’ve been flying up the leader board on the world class racing circuit. In 2010, Red Bull hit the ceiling when Vettel took the Driver’s Championship, and in 2011, since they can’t actually climb any higher in the standings, they are just leaving their competition further and further in the dust.
Race-car driving is an arms race, and right now, Red Bull Racing has the best weaponry with their controversial exhaust-blown diffuser. With the best cars, best technology and best driver in tow, Red Bull Racing are the kings of the F1 world.
Since purchasing the Minardi team and renaming it Toro Rosso, meaning Red Bull in Italian, Mateschitz has been reaching deep into his pockets to put the best cars on the track.
In 2009, Red Bull produced the RB5, which driver Sebastian Vettel named 'Kate's Dirty Sister.'
It was the car that finally got them in the race, so to speak. Previously, they had only one podium finish as a team.
It was nothing but blue skies for Vettel as he registered Red Bull Racing's first Formula 1 win just days later at the rain-filled Chinese Grand Prix.
Vettel and Red Bull really started to make their engines roar as Vettel ended Jenson Button's four-race winning streak on his home track at the British Grand Prix.
Vettel's ascent continued as he climbed all the way to second in the Driver's Championship standings for 2009.
The 2010 car was the RB6, which Vettel named 'Luscious Liz' (and later 'Randy Mandy,' when he required a replacement).
The big advantage to this ride was the advanced handling, which really pushed this car ahead of teams like McLaren and Ferrari.
Both Red Bull drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber (keep an eye out for our interview with the Webber tomorrow), began to pull away from the pack.
They combined to take six straight pole positions and finished the year with nine Grand Prix wins (five for Vettel, four for Webber).
With a pole win at Abu Dhabi, Vettel clinched Red Bull's first-ever title. Then he won the race for good measure.
The RB7 was the car for 2011, but it launched without much fanfare. It didn't appear to have any real innovative upgrades at first, but it evolved with a new diffuser and exhaust system.
The new system allowed the exhausts to blow inside the diffuser for more downforce, which, in simpler terms, allows the car to go faster through the corners.
FIA president Jean Todt evaluated whether to ban exhaust blown diffusers, which appeared to be giving Red Bull Racing a significant edge, but later decided to give them a grace period.
Vettel and his car, which he tabbed 'Kinky Kylie,' continue their dominance, winning the first race of the season, the Australian GP. Other drivers, including former F1 champ Lewis Hamilton, are in search of answers.
He'll try to come up with something as the drivers travel to Montreal this weekend to battle on the historic Gilles Villeneuve Circuit.
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