While you and I were sleeping tight, or out partying at 1:30 AM in the morning, six men raided the Red Bull F1 Team factory in the UK, stealing no less than 60 trophies. My greatest concern about this is that their action only deepens the popularity issue motorsport is facing.
Red Bull aimed one of their marketing budget snipers at Formula One back in 2005. It took a few practice bullets, but between 2010 and 2013 the Austrian team went on an opponent-killing spree, taking home 4 world championships while their Vettel grabbed just as many world titles. Sure, the 2014 season was lost to Mercedes, but nobody can take away Red Bull's trophies, can they?
Alas, the group of thieves begged to differ to the rhetorical nature of the aforementioned question. A hard-working team was treated with... hard-working robbers, as the men raided Red Bull's Formula One base in Milton Keys really, really early this morning - Thames Valley Police were summoned to the team's headquarters at 1:30 AM today, confirming a group of six men stole no less than 60 trophies from the building.
The perpetrators used a silver SUV, driving straight through the glass structure that makes up the front entrance of the structure.
As Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner explained, many of the trophies in the display that was targeted by the offenders were replicas, so expecting to turn them into cash would be a rather ridiculous idea.
The robbers were organized, as, for instance, a second car (a Mercedes) is believed to have been involved. When it comes to the reason of their attack, I simply don't give a damn. They could very well be fans of racing unicorns who feel threatened by Red Bull's commitment to motorsport.
Fortunately, the night staff were not harmed in the robbery, but the damage done here is much greater than it might seem.
As Horner said: "The actions of these men mean it’s likely that we will have to make our site less accessible in the future, which will be unfair on the hundreds of fans that travel to visit our factory each year to see our trophies and our Formula One car."
Capturing the extreme feelings and emotions experienced inside a racecar and spreading them to the world was hard enough on itself, we didn't need a six-pack of idiots stabbing motorsport in the back.
Sadly, the problem spreads beyond the borders of racing - the situation reminds me of what happened in Germany back in October, when thieves stole two brand new Passats straight from the Volkswagen factory in Emden.
The two cars were grabbed as part of separate incidents and, during the second... grand theft das auto, the security guards even had to leap onto the side of the road in order to avoid being hit by the thief that was running away with the Passat.
Later that day, the man ran the VW through a radar trap thus basically offering authorities his mugshot, in a move that seemed just as stupid as that of the Red Bull offenders.
Volkswagen is obviously expected to increase its security level after that incident and while the situation may be different to that of Red Bull, it's still worrying to see the auto industry having to turn to such measures.
I'm sure other companies will follow and this applies to both petrol pilgrimage sites and less interesting factories, so I feel that us car aficionados are being disturbed here.