Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Red Bull haven’t had an easy season, and it can only be summed up in one way – being thoroughly out-classed by their supposedly smaller sister team. At the start of 2008, they looked strong, and Webber had some good points finishes during the first few races. Coulthard even made it onto the podium. The real problem was that as Toro Rosso got stronger and stronger, Red Bull seemed unable to keep up with development and fell backwards.
For his last season, this was certainly one for Coulthard to forget. He seemed to attract trouble, with many first lap incidents, with retirements happening more often than not. His last drive was supposed to a poignant one, dedicated to charity, but it was over on the first corner.
As one of the older teams on the grid, Red Bull are no doubt relishing the prospect of Sebastian Vettel in the car. The youngster is full of fire and spirit, and his sense of humour will fit in with the team perfectly. They will be hoping they can give him a worthy car, but this may be harder with Webber now out of action.
The Australian broke his leg this weekend, meaning he will miss a vast majority of winter testing, leaving Vettel to give the feedback on the new car. With so many regulation changes, and new things happening on the cars for 2009, I’d imagine you need as many hands behind the wheel as you can.
Red Bull put the difference in speed between themselves and Toro Rosso down to the engines. Red Bull use a Renault, whilst Toro Rosso have a deal with Ferrari. The Renault engine appears to be coming back into its own now, with Alonso picking up two wins last year, and remaining competitive for the last few races. This will give Red Bull hope, as it can’t have been easy to be in such a public battle with a sister team using the fastest engine on the grid.
There are rumours that the Red Bulletin is closing down, and we know that boss Dietrich Mateschitz has considered selling his share in Toro Rosso. If times are getting tight for the team, it may affect their progress but for now, they’ve got all the elements they need to be successful.