Red Bull – Living on the Edge

26 Jul

So here we are, in the middle of the season and once again Red Bull have been making the headlines for what many consider to be all the wrong reasons.

The German Grand Prix was not a great weekend for the team; the mapping issue, the passing and penalty issue, Mark’s struggles, and some perhaps unfortunate comments that the press and the F1 community on twitter are devouring like a pack of rabid hyenas.

I don’t agree with many of the comments made by Dr Helmut Marko, I don’t always agree with Christian or Sebastian (yes I do think he should have given that place back and passed later). Their comments in interviews do sometimes let them down. The creative genius of Adrian Newey however, does not and it complements the ethos of the team and the brand.

I don’t need to write a paragraph waxing lyrical about Adrian and what he has achieved in Formula 1, you already know all that. What I will do though, is highlight one of the things that Adrian has in buckets; creative genius. He thinks outside the box and will push things further to the limit than his counterparts at the other eleven F1 teams and it pays off every time. Everybody is looking for that extra edge, and Adrian knows how to get it. Does he live within ‘the spirit of the rules’? I think so, but again he will push that spirit to the limit to get the most out of the car. Unfortunately for the team, the rest of the paddock don’t agree, and the FIA will respond to a sufficiently loud level of whining by rewriting the rules. In F1 rules aren’t made to be broken; they are made to be rewritten.

Many F1 fans have described Red Bull as cheaters. They aren’t cheating. Ordering a driver to crash to affect the outcome of a race, or photocopying documents from another team is cheating.

Red Bull, not just the F1 team but the whole company, lives life on the edge and pushes to the limit. While the F1 paddock has been grumbling all week about engine mappings and passing manoeuvres, another Red Bull venture, Red Bull Stratos, was completing a second test flight before Felix Baumgartner does a jump from the edge of space back down to earth. This is an incredible project and I can’t wait to see coverage of the actual jump.

Red Bull Stratos

 

I may not be too keen on the drink itself, but I love the ethos of the brand, the events and athletes that they sponsor, and the F1 team’s creativity and skill at pushing the rules and convention to the limit complements that ethos perfectly. I suspect that the majority of the people who read this have pushed rules to the limit in their own lives – driving right on the speed limit, going through an orange light just before it changes to red, trying to outsmart our parents and the rules they imposed on us when we were kids….the list goes on.

When any team uncovers a new feature which pushes the limits it is easy to point the finger if we support a different team, and cry foul. We want our boys to win. It is easy for me to write this because I love Red Bull, but if like me you drive on the limit, or tried to be a smartass when you were a kid, join me next time the rules get rewritten in a wry smile and a tip of your F1 hat to acknowledge that same creativity in the sport we all love.

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One Response to “Red Bull – Living on the Edge”

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