Your Chance to Find Out More About F1 - Interview With an Insider From Red Bull Racing

The Red Bull Racing Show Run was held this weekend on the streets of Romania, more precisely in the heart of the capital Bucharest. Those who were lucky enough to attend this show were delighted with the Red Bull RB7. This car dominated the 2011 Formula One season, helping Sebastian Vettel win his second world championship. In addition, the Driftbrothers (Johannes and Elias Hountondji) were also present with their BMW M4s. Lastly, stunt rider Arunas Gibieza impressed everyone with his insane bike tricks.
Interview with an Red Bull Racing employee 18 photos
Photo: autoevolution
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Besides all this, motorsport fans could also participate in different challenges to test their skills, from reaction and memory tests to pit stop challenges and the chance to drive in a professional racing simulator. Of course, I tried all of them, and I believe I did a good enough job to replace someone at Ferrari. It's just that they've never heard of me. Yet. Then I talked with the Driftbrothers for almost two hours about those two 1,050-hp M4s made almost entirely from carbon fiber.

After wondering some more, I saw that the guys from the F1 paddock are pretty relaxed now after having a hectic morning because they had to change the gearbox. There I met and interviewed an insider who wished to remain unnamed (we will call him Joe)—a great guy with an immense sense of humor, super chill, and down-to-earth. As a result, the interview felt more like a friendly talk.

All roads lead to F1

Probably anyone who is an F1 fan has this question. How could someone end up working for a Formula One team? Well, there are many ways to reach the pinnacle of motorsport and many jobs. For example, the guy I talked with works more on marketing and is now responsible for all the crazy events that Red Bull does worldwide. Meanwhile, the engineers don't all have racing backgrounds, but more on that later.

"Well, you must understand that five teams are based in the UK. You could say the UK is like a Silicon Valley of F1. Of course, most of the recruiting is made from universities out there. However, all the teams are now doing a lot of internships to spot upcoming talented engineers, mechanics, and so on." At the same time, one of the older guys there told me how he used to work as a truck mechanic without ever thinking of working in F1.

Interview with an Red Bull Racing employee
Photo: autoevolution

Anything is possible if you put your mind to it

Joe's story really motivated and inspired me. It's a story of ambition, courage, knowing how valuable you are, and seeking opportunities. "I am from the Netherlands, so we hadn't had any race there until last year. As a result, I used to be at Spa-Francorchamps every year, where basically, I brought people from the stands to the Red Bull paddock. Then, I did the same the following year, and so on. Then, the guy who was supposed to show the fans around the paddock didn't come, so the lady from Red Bull in charge of this event told me that I should do it because I already knew everything there."

As you can imagine, everything went super smoothly, so Joe thought Red Bull needed a guy like his on their team. "After that experience, I wrote a mail to them, telling them why I was the right guy, why they need me and things like that. Six months later they answered me and I got the job."

To get in F1, sacrifices are a must

Right at this moment, Joe gave me a lot of motivation by telling me that anyone could achieve greatness in F1. However, as cliche, as it sounds, hard work and significant sacrifices are needed. "As long as you really want it you can do everything you put your mind to it. In Formula 1 it's the same story. However, sacrifices are needed. With such a full schedule, you need to accept that you will spend a lot of time away from your family.

"All the guys who are here at this event used to work in F1 full time, but now they are present mostly at this events so they can have more time with their families." Joe was the same, always away and always traveling, but now after some years, he has a team that does the most work for events like Red Bull Racing Show Run.

Interview with an Red Bull Racing employee
Photo: autoevolution

Friends or Foes

You know, after last year's intense battle between Mercedes and Red Bull, I was curious about the relationships around the paddock. Is it really such bad blood between teams member? Are Toto Wolff and Christian Horner at each other's necks? Well, this is what Joe had to say about this.

"Absolutely not true. At the end of the day, we go together to restaurants as friends, whether they are part of Mercedes or any other team." Right then, the elderly guy who told me about his truck mechanic days said to Joe sarcastically, "Stop lying! I will never go anywhere with someone from Mercedes!". After all of us shared a laugh, Joe continued. "It's a media thing. They created the sparks between Christian Horner and Toto Wolff, especially the guys from Netflix's Drive to Survive. We all respect each other because we are basically a huge moving circus."

Shutting down entire cities, plus unique challenges

Even if you hate Red Bull Racing, you can't deny that they are essential to why F1 is so popular worldwide. They always do crazy and unique challenges to close the gap between F1 and everyday people. Joe even gave me a spoiler about a video they will shoot in the nearest future. All I can say it's that it will be amazing.

"When we shoot that video with Sergio Perez from New York to Miami, we just shut down certain parts of New York. Imagine that at 5 AM, we had a Formula One car right in the middle of Manhattan, while behind were people in their vehicles waiting for us to finish. One of the best experiences I had," said Joe with a smile. He even told me a crazy story about when Verstappen had to drive on the ski slope.

Interview with an Red Bull Racing employee
Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing/Twitter
The Red Bull crew thought the wet tires would do just fine on snow. They quickly learned it was a bad idea, so they thought about chains. However, they didn't find any chains that could fit an F1 tire, so the Red Bull crew spent the night building chains for an F1 car.

His favorite cars, favorite moments, and meeting the superstars

While he was part of many great moments in Red Bull Racing team history, he has one favorite moment that outclasses everything. Keep in mind that he is from the Netherlands. "I was lucky to be part of many great moments, but last year when I was at Zandvoort, and Max won, I just started crying. It was incredible!".

Of course, I wanted to know his favorite Red Bull F1 cars. After all, he had spent so much time around them. "Pff, it's a tricky question. I really like all the cars from that 2010-2013 era, especially the RB7. You know they had so many little details, mechanical ones that people had no clue about it. And the RB7 it's so diverse. This is why we use this one for so many events," said my interview partner.

"But if I have to choose one, it had to be the Wings for Life one, where we had a bunch of faces fitted on the car. By the way, I like the livery we have now on the cars, but if it was like a shiny paint job instead of a mate one... nothing could have been better," said Joe with a huge smile. Of course, he was referring to the RB8 car used in the 2012 British Grand Prix, which featured more than 25,000 photos that were sent in by fans throughout the race weekend.

Interview with an Red Bull Racing employee
Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing/Twitter
Now, the guys in the paddock were getting a little agitated because they still had a lot of work to do. So I asked him to tell me about the superstars working at Red Bull and if he had ever met them.

"I met all of them. Max and Sergio are chill guys with whom you can have a nice conversation. Sebastian Vettel wasn't present so often around the paddock, but he was alright. However, the best one by far to work with was Daniel. Every time we met him we were always laughing and having fun," said Joe.

From all these amazing things he had told me, I have to say I was amazed by this one here. "You know all the stories about Adrian Newey are true. He is not using a super advanced computer or software to create his legendary designs. You will always see him walking with a notebook and a pen, doing sketches, drawing something."

I had one final question for this fantastic guy. I asked him if I could hop in the F1 car and drive it just a little bit around the paddock. He laughed and actually said yes, but maybe another time.

If you couldn't check the Red Bull guys in Bucharest, make sure to cancel your plans and go to Belgrade on 17th September because that is the next stop.
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About the author: Silvian Irimia
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Silvian may be the youngest member of our team, being born in the 2000s, but you won't find someone more passionate than him when it comes to motorsport. An automotive engineer by trade, Silvian considers the Ferrari F50 his favorite car, with the original Lamborghini Countach a close second.
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