“Red Bull misses the point with multimillion-pound track car”
I’ve always seen Red Bull Racing as a team of the people – the small upstarts that socked it to the big boys. It has over-achieved, it’s got the crowds on its side and is the cool kid in the F1 paddock. It does things differently and its members win with the biggest of smiles on their faces. I’m a massive Red Bull Racing fan.
So you can imagine how excited I was to hear that Red Bull Racing would be making its first series production car. And how disappointed I was to find out that the RB17 will be yet another multimillion-pound, track-day special aimed at collectors.
It’s not as though these mega-wealthy people don’t have enough stupidly expensive supercars to choose from. There’s still the Aston Martin Valkyrie if you want one – with aerodynamics by Red Bull’s own design genius Adrian Newey. Lotus will sell you a similarly priced all-electric Evija, while Automobili Pininfarina has another EV hypercar, the Battista. There are plenty more, too, and I understand customers for some of these mega-money models are proving somewhat hard to come by.
I totally get the temptation to use a car like the RB17 as a showcase for the wider Red Bull Advanced Technologies business – and a chance to boost the company coffers. There’s also no doubt that the car will leave us open-mouthed at its ability when it eventually turns a wheel.
But what about real car fans who might want a slice of F1 on their driveway? Cars like the Clio Williams (above) have legendary status, not only because of what they can do, but because they were aspirational yet accessible.
F1 has struggled with its relevance to the real world and it seems Red Bull Racing has fallen into that trap, too. I’d love to own something with a Red Bull Racing badge on it, but that’s more likely to be a cap than a car.
I’d argue it would be a much tougher challenge – and worthy of higher praise – to produce something F1 fans can afford. Will Red Bull Racing rise to that challenge?
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