By Aunpriya Singh
Edited by Anandita Malhotra,Senior editor,The Indian Economist
Until the beginning of the 2014 Formula One season, little had anyone wondered that the reigning world champions, Red Bull Racing, were headed for the biggest turnaround ever! This season their best man, Sebastian Vettel, has been no better than an amateur go-kart driver.
Back in November 2013, Red Bull driver Mark Webber decided to bring down the curtains upon his glorious F1 career. This decision of his heralded the bad days of Red Bull Racing. A novice test driver, Daniel Ricciardo was roped in to fit into Webber’s oversized shoes. The Red Bull Racing team (RBR) was convinced that Ricciardo would not be able to make 2014 a remarkable season for them. So predictably, it was on “The Super Seb” who won them the title for the fifth season in a row.
This season Vettel was on the trail to equalize Michael Schumacher’s record of 5 consecutive season titles. However after 6 races, with zero first position finishes in his name, it would be safe to say that he has failed appallingly in his task. While Vettel struggles to rediscover his driving excellence, Formula 1 fans (or to be more precise, the Seb Club) are disheartened and distressed by the way this season is shaping up for four time champion Sebastian Vettel. The world had grown accustomed to his dominance and monopoly over the first position in the previous versions of Formula One Racing. This season has been something really hard to digest for the blue F1 fans. Now-a-days, every race sees a new champion and it does get more exciting and high on adrenaline when you cannot predict who’s going to win. Currently, Vettel sits at the sixth position in the driver’s standing with 98 points and Nico Rosberg at the top spot with 220 points. What is even more surprising is the fact that in the points table, Ricciardo is occupying the third place with 156 points, way ahead of Vettel. Ricciardo’s performance in this season (so far) has been commendable and highly unforeseen. He has been Red Bull Racing’s knight in a shining ‘helmet’ this season, keeping the spark still alive in the RBR camp with his exquisite performances. His speed and flair on the track has silenced his critics for good and for the entire season. In every race, he is pushing his limits and performing better.
Yet, RBR can still make it to the top spot of the Constructors’ table and feel content with what can be called a consolation prize. Vettel is still the same man in flesh, bones and blood this season as well. The same thing cannot be said for his beloved car. This season’s Red Bull car prototype and its engine have drawn flak far and wide. RB-8 (this season’s car) has so far been less competitive and has failed to be at par with its predecessor RB-7. All hasn’t been lost yet. Over ages, time and time again, racing tracks have proved to be a highly unpredictable zone. The world has seen it. It is still not late for a surprising comeback from Vettel and the company. A determination and spirit to reclaim the recently lost glorious stature, coupled with an upgraded ferocious car ready to rage fire on the track should do the trick for RBR. It is time to pen down all the things that went against the team, especially The World Champion Sebastian Vettel.Anupriya is a second year undergraduate student in Economics at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi. An avid reader, she wants to travel across India to comprehend the varied façade of the Indian culture and traditions. Apart from academics, Anupriya has also dabbled in extracurricular activities like debate and documentary making. She has won numerous awards for her documentaries on social issues. Sports, primarily football, and painting constitute her main interests.