As F1 gears itself for a new Sprint Race format at the British Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing Honda has pit itself against some of the most infamous British vehicles of the 21st Century in a never-seen before battle. Can some of the most recognizable modes of transport get to the finish line first or will the RB7 reign supreme?
The iconic British line-up taking on the Championship winning RB7 features the undisputed icon of the skies – the Spitfire, the ever-reliable night bus, the infamous London black cab and a white van; with festival go-ers crammed into one car and a unpredictable boy racer in another.
The short film launches ahead of the upcoming British Grand Prix, which will see the return of a full capacity crowd for the first time since 2019 as well as the brand-new Sprint Race weekend format making its much anticipated debut.
Following a successful win last year for Red Bull Racing Honda’s Max Verstappen at the Silverstone 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, the team head to Silverstone well equipped fot the challenge ahead as they look to build on their Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championship leads.
Christian Horner, CEO and Team Principal – Red Bull Racing Honda
Q: How important will the return of the crowds be at the British Grand Prix?
“Well, it’s going to be fantastic just to see a full Silverstone. We have really missed fully attended races and I think this is the first time we are going to see a proper crowd and I think that it is tremendously exciting. It’s always a great thrill to race in front of the British public – I live only 10 minutes from Silverstone, so for me, I get to sleep in my own bed! I’ve always loved the British Grand Prix, so I’m looking forward to seeing everybody there.”
Q: What did you think of the performance of the ‘Best of British’ vehicles in the race? If you could pick one of the vehicles to drive, which would it be and why?
“There are some iconic British vehicles in the film, from the white van man to the London cab. But aside from the Red Bull F1 car, I think the winner has got to be the Spitfire – the sound, the grace it has in the air, it is fantastic to see, and I think everyone had a lot of fun that day creating it.”
Q: Silverstone has been a Mercedes stronghold, but we won the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix there last year – is there a chance we could repeat that performance?
“I think that Silverstone is going to be a big challenge and it’s been a strong hold of Mercedes for several years now, but again with so many members of the team coming to watch the cars in action, I think it’s another opportunity. [Also] with the first of the sprint races this year, it’s going to be a new event format and extra points available so it’s going to be a really exciting weekend.”
Q: Do you think that F1’s fanbase is growing now that new mediums are providing increased behind the scenes access?
“Well, I think through different activities with digital media, through things like ‘Drive to Survive’, we are reaching a new audience and we are seeing younger fans coming into the sport which is great to see. [There’s] different fans from all parts of the world getting into Formula 1 and that’s fantastic. Hopefully we can put on a great race as we’ve had at so many races this year to really give the fans a big event.”
Q: Much like the Sprint Race format, the Red Bull Racing Honda vs Best of British edit is all about speed – what do you think it is about speed that fascinates people so much?
“I think it’s just seeing the human and a machine and that combination of how far they can push each other – so whether it’s flying a Spitfire or driving a white van it’s all about “what are the limits?”. Seeing a Formula 1 car at Silverstone in its purest form on one of the fastest tracks in the world is one of the biggest challenges and the drivers love it. It’s one of the big ones we always want to win as a team and hopefully this year we’ve got a great chance.”
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda driver
Q: How does it compare racing in front of a UK crowd to any other circuit in the world? Is there something special about the iconic Silverstone track?
The British crowd loves motorsport. I am always very happy to go back to England in general, but of course Silverstone is an amazing track and to see how many people are supporting Formula 1 is really cool to see. When we were at Silverstone last year, the track was amazing, but the atmosphere was missing. To have the British crowd back again in full attendance will be really special and I hope that the race is going to be just as exciting.”
Q: How did it feel to break Mercedes’ four-year winning streak at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix last summer?
“It felt good to win that race last year. Coming into that race, I don’t think there were a lot of people who were thinking about [us] having a chance of winning including myself, but I think we had a good strategy, we were good on the tyres so it was a very nice race to win.”
Q: It has been a brilliant start to the Constructors for yourself and the team – can you feel something special happening this year?
“I feel that we started off really well which of course I’m very happy about. But we must keep on pushing and cannot be dreaming about our results so far. It’s going to be really tight and difficult, but I am hopeful we can have an amazing season.”
Q: You are known for your ability to take risks and push the car to its maximum – how much does it excite you that there is now a format that allows you to race flat out without needing to pit?
“I mean, you take risks but controlled – especially when you are fighting for a championship so that one race is not going to define the end result. Let’s wait and see how it goes!”