Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Red Bull have made a name for themselves in the short time they've been in the paddock. Not afraid of a bit of fun, youthful, corporate sponsorship, their tie-ins with movies have caused great amusement. No other team principal would make a bet that involved jumping into a swimming pool with few clothes on. More importantly, no other team principal would, upon losing the bet, follow through with his promise.
The drivers are outspoken, friendly and generally quite young, and with two teams lining up on the grid, you can't blink without seeing that red logo.
It's not just on the grid that Red Bull have made inroads. They started a magazine back in 2005 that was written, printed, and distributed only at race weekends, and only within grounds of the circuit. Although available for free on the website, you had to turn up to each race to get your hands on the physical magazine.
It was a good read, as well. Thoroughly Formula 1 related, with interviews, articles, history, cartoons, and plenty of stunning photography. The four issues over a GP weekend were packed full of information, and provided entertainment for everyone who picked one up. Well, perhaps not quite everyone, as it was well known that Ron Dennis didn't enjoy the magazine. He might be the only one, though.
The magazine required well over 20 staff, and sadly, the economic crunch has hit. For the 2009 season, the magazine has changed radically. It is now a monthly supplement, given away for free with purchase of the UK's Independent newspaper. Although still available online, it is vastly different. It features a range of the sports Red Bull are involved in, with Formula 1 being only a part of it.
The features take on a more lifestyle magazine approach, with discussions on music, various products, and more personal interviews with the various sportstars. Red Bull tend to stick to extreme sports, so the photographs are still stunning, even if the concept has changed dramatically.
All in all, it's become a completely different product. Now aimed more at men than at Formula 1 fans, I wouldn't purchase it. I don't mind checking out the free pdf, but I can't say I read it in depth anymore.