Red Bull Shows Surprise Resurgence

by : Anthony Fontanelle

Going into the 2007 European Grand Prix, all eyes are on McLaren and Ferrari which are battling for the championship. Attention is also focused on the brewing rivalry between world champions Renault and BMW Sauber. But after the race, it was Red Bull which captured the attention of Formula One fans.

For nine races this season before the European Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing's highest ever finish this season is a fifth place taken by British Formula One driver David Coulthard. But at the race in NÃ?rburgring, the duo of Coulthard and Mark Webber collected more points than in the nine races combined.

Before the European Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing only has six points. But at the Euro Grand Prix, Webber finished third, his second career podium finish for six points while Coulthard finished fifth for four points. The team is now sixth in the standings with sixteen points to their credit.

Although Webber is more than a minute behind the winner, McLaren's Fernando Alonso, the third place finish is good enough for the struggling Formula One team. Webber and Coulthard even outpaced the pair of BMW Sauber and Renault. BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld finished sixth and Robert Kubica finished seventh. Both are driving the F1.07 car with a BMW engine designed to outpace the fastest brakes-equipped sports car.

Obviously, Webber and Coulthard are pleased with their performance. The 3-5 finish of Webber and Coulthard is made extra special by the fact that they have not qualified in the font grid. Webber qualified sixth on Saturday which means that he would have to start the race from the third row of the grid.

Compared to Coulthard, Webber has a better starting position as the veteran Formula One driver qualified 20th on Saturday. That means that he has to start the race from almost at the back of all cars.

"This is a podium I can enjoy on a special day for us," said Webber. "The team deserves it after all the effort that has taken place behind the scenes. It's great to get some points on the board, especially as David finished fifth as well," the Australian added.

Meanwhile, Coulthard has this to say: "I'm very happy for the team. It's obviously been a difficult start to the year with some reliability issues, but nonetheless to show the pace we did in this race was good and the calls we made on strategy were a credit to the team; the pit stops were great."

The impressive performance of the Red Bull drivers is not the only surprise for the European Grand Prix as rookie Markus Winkelhock posted a new record. The German became the first Formula One driver to both start last and first in a Grand Prix. The German briefly lead the race after numerous drivers were forced to change tires after rain poured. Winkelhock's team correctly expected the arrival of rain and was rewarded with the German's lead. Eventually though, Winkelhock would not finish the race as his car's hydraulics malfunctioned.

"I am really happy about it - I was leading my home Grand Prix! Unfortunately then we had a hydraulic problem and I had to stop. The target for me was to finish, but I know that not getting there was not down to me, so I am really pleased with what I achieved," said Winkelhock after the race.