Cars & Racing | 7 August 2015The Red Bull RB6 Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz has wielded incredible power in Formula 1 since first becoming involved in the sport, though his actions often seemed a trifle unfathomable to the outside world in the early days. Below is an excerpt about this incredible race car driver and the Red Bull RB6, pulled from the book Art of the Formula 1 Race Car. The only people who did well out of the Jaguar Racing F1 team were Jackie Stewart, who managed to convince Ford to bankroll the launch of his own team and then buy it from him, after just one GP win, and Eddie Irvine, the driver whose sky-high salary made him one of FoMoCo’s highest-paid employees—prompting none other than Bill Ford Jr. to exclaim, “Who the hell is this Ed Irvine?” as he scanned the payroll. After three seasons as Stewart Grand Prix and five as Jaguar Racing, mostly unproductive and entirely tumultuous, Ford put the troubled team up for sale at the end of 2004, and Red Bull stepped in at the 11th hour to buy it. The cost was reportedly $1 million, with a commitment to invest $400 million over the next three seasons. Seasoned observers who recalled the Bernoldi brouhaha wondered what on earth Mateschitz was doing. Actually, though, the Red Bull mogul shrewdly put the right people in the right places, and in doing so he turned F1’s lame-duck équipe into one that would prove almost unbeatable. As team principal, he appointed 31-year-old Christian Horner, a former racing driver whose Arden team was a regular frontrunner in Formula 3000. Horner, once he got his feet under the table and realized the magnitude of his undertaking, employed the underrated veteran David Coulthard as lead driver. Besides helping to guide development, Coulthard also furnished an introduction to Adrian Newey, the technical genius growing increasingly frustrated at McLaren. By February 2006, Newey was installed in the design office at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory. What he found was not pretty. “There was a strange, Midlands type of arrogance, which I’d seen before,” he said. “When I was at college, we used to have trips to Triumph, Norton, Rolls-Royce, and so forth. They were making these, frankly, shocking products but couldn’t see it. They thought they were producing the best. There were quite a few people at Red Bull with that sort of arrogance. To talk to some of them, it was as if they’d won the championship for the previous seven years.” Also, in spite of an extensive refurbishment, the team’s wind tunnel was not producing results that could be replicated on track. Even as Newey restructured the design team and began to put cars out with his own authorial “stamp” in 2007 and 2008, front-running pace proved elusive. “We threw away loads of points just through silly things,” said Newey. “The timing of the regulation change in 2009 was very opportune for us because we’d got to the point where everything was starting to work better and we could now say, ‘Right, here’s the design challenge for this new set of regulations. Let’s get on with it.’” Although Brawn GP dominated the early races of 2009, thanks in part to their rule-bending “double diffuser,” Red Bull took their first win courtesy of signing star Sebastian Vettel. The young German wunderkind won three more races during the year, with teammate Mark Webber adding two. By the end of the season, Red Bull was the dominant force, having shoehorned a double diffuser into the RB5 despite the limited space afforded by its pull-rod rear suspension system. 2010’s RB6 was a considered evolution of the car that won the final three rounds of 2009, with the double diffuser now integrated into the design and the pull-rod rear suspension retained on account of it providing a lower center of gravity and causing less disturbance to the airflow around the beam wing. It also had a larger fuel tank, since mid-race refueling had been banned, and yet it still seemed to be able to run at a steep and aerodynamically advantageous nose-down “rake.” Rival teams muttered that the RB6 had a cunning (and illegal) method of adjusting the height of the rear suspension as the fuel load came down during a race, yet no such system was ever found. The RB6 also featured a clever piece of down-force-producing technology that caught some other teams on the hop. When first seen during preseason testing, it appeared to have exhausts in the conventional location. Closer examination, however, revealed the outlets to be painted on—the real exhausts were lower down, almost at floor level, deployed to accelerate the flow of air through the diffuser. Red Bull’s technical team was only caught off balance briefly by McLaren’s innovative “F-duct,” a system that enabled the driver to stall the rear wing and gain a speed boost in a straight line. Typically, Newey’s own solution to this, introduced during the season, proved better—stalling both planes of the rear wing of the RB6. The technical to-and-fro made for an intriguing season, and while Red Bull’s drivers took pole position in 15 out of the 19 races, the drivers’ championship went right down to the final round in Abu Dhabi. A faulty spark plug cost Vettel a shot at victory in the season opener at Bahrain, and engine failure forced him out of the Korean Grand Prix while he was leading. The two Red Bull drivers managed to take each other out during the Turkish round, and no love was lost between them. But if the Abu Dhabi race promised an exciting championship conclusion, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in contention for the title as well as Vettel and Webber, it proved to be a letdown. Red Bull pitted Webber early to change tires, and Ferrari decided to pit Alonso as well in order to cover that strategic angle—only for Alonso to emerge from the pits behind a pair of uncooperative midfielders. Fourth place would have given Alonso the title, but he crossed the line in seventh, while Vettel won the race—and the world championship. It was to be the first of many for the remarkable young German. The Art of the Formula 1 Race Car Author: Stuart Codling Photographer: James Mann Even more of the most beautiful and successful Formula 1 race cars in history, presented in a way they have never been seen before. Formula 1: the pinnacle of motorsports. This is the world’s most popular form of racing, featuring the world’s greatest drivers competing in the most technologically advanced cars ever created, machines designed and built by some of history’s most brilliant engineering minds. For the original edition of Art of the Formula 1 Race Car, master automotive photographer James Mann brought a selection of these spectacular machines into the studio, portraying not just their engineering brilliance, but also their inherent beauty– the fascinating results of Formula 1’s mix of competition, creativity, and human ingenuity has made these vehicles into works of art. Now, in this new and updated edition, Mann has gone behind the lens once again to bring you even more of history’s most astounding racing vehicles, from the Alfa Romeo 158 that carried Giuseppe Farina to the first F1 world championship in 1950 all the way through to the present day, with models from Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Lotus, Ferrari, McLaren, and all of racing’s premier Formula 1 engineers. With historical and technological profiles by Formula 1 writer Stuart Codling and insightful commentary from designer Gordon Murray, creator of multiple championship-winning cars, the revised and updated Art of the Formula 1 Race Car continues its tradition as the ultimate homage to the ultimate breed of race car. Discover what Road & Track magazine called “the perfect blend of pictures, analysis and the racing history of these remarkable racing machines.” Buy from an Online Retailer In North America: In The UK: Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.