With the quickest car in 2010, Red Bull Racing should have cakewalked both championships, but some mechanical reliability issues – and the occasional calamity by its drivers – ensure that the championship chase was kept wide open until the end.

So ensure a hopefully easier championship defence, the team has fundamentally played to its strengths: it’s kept the same staff and drivers, the new RB7 looks conceptually similar to its predecessor, and it’s been rapid in pre-season testing.

The big question: will they let anyone get near them in 2011?

Red Bull Racing 

Chassis / Engine: RB7 / Renault
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber
2010 rank: 1st
2010 points: 498

Red Bull Racing’s 2010 track record

After a hugely improved 2009, things were looking promising for 2010 – and ultimately, the team delivered with both championship titles.

At certain times, however, the team’s deficiencies reared their head. There were reliability issues at crucial stages. The team made some poor strategic calls, opting for a risky strategy when a more conservative one was more advisable, or doing the reverse.

At times, team boss Christian Horner seemed out of his depth, and there were certainly moments when it seemed that the company’s top brass were getting too much influence. When a steady hand was needed at crucial points, it was found lacking: and that’s when the in-fighting between Webber and Vettel – with Helmut Marko stoking the coals – would unnecessarily rear its head.

But at the end of the day, the team took both championship titles for the first time, and their refusal to force Vettel (who never led the championship until he won it) to play second fiddle to Webber was ultimately the correct one.

Design guru Adrian Newey was innovative in his creation of the ‘blown diffuser’, which was perhaps the technical innovation of the season. While everyone was out pursuing the ‘F-duct’ – a concept Newey mastered with little difficulty – few saw the diffuser concept coming, and his innovation helped the team to a massive technical advantage over its rivals.

The RB6 was a sublime machine that few could understand but that plenty would envy – allegations of cheating were commonplace but never proven. But the stats did the talking: 15 pole positions, nine wins, six fastest laps and almost two-thirds of all race laps led. Telling, indeed.

And all that from a team that, just a few years ago, was an embarrassment called Jaguar Racing.

Sebastian Vettel

#1: Sebastian Vettel
DOB: 03/07/1987
Nationality: German
2010 rank: 1st
2010 points: 256
Debut: United States 2007
Starts: 62
Wins: 10
Podiums: 19
Fastest Laps: 6
Pole Positions: 15
Career Points: 381

Mark Webber

#2: Mark Webber
DOB: 27/08/1976
Nationality: Australian
2010 rank 3rd
2010 points: 242
Debut: Australia 2002
Starts: 157
Wins: 6
Podiums: 20
Fastest Laps: 6
Pole Positions: 6
Career Points: 411.5

Watch the Richard’s F1 pre-season vodcast as Richard and Jen contend that Red Bull Racing will be hard to beat in the 2011 F1 season:

CLICK HERE to return to our 2011 Team & Driver Profiles.

[Images via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.