F1 2015 team preview: Red Bull Racing

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Red Bull Racing

Drivers
No. 3 Daniel Ricciardo
No. 26 Daniil Kvyat

First Race: 2005 Australian Grand Prix
Grands Prix: 184
Pole Positions: 
57
Fastest Laps: 
44
Race Wins: 
50
Constructors’ Championships: 
4
2014 Championship Result: 
2nd (405 points)

2014 was a shock to Red Bull’s system. The ‘party team’ of the mid-2000s had gotten tough and mean as of 2009, with four straight championship doubles coming with Sebastian Vettel from 2010 through 2013. However, as the Renault power unit left much to be desired last season, it could only limp home in a distant second behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, almost 300 points adrift.

Nevertheless, Red Bull was still clearly the best of the rest. Daniel Ricciardo’s breakthrough year yielded three superb wins as he left Vettel in his tracks, prompting the German – among other reasons, of course – to switch to Ferrari for 2015. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat is his replacement, with 2015 being the Russian’s sophomore year in F1. The team may lack experience in the driver department, and the loss of Adrian Newey upstairs is a big hit for the team as he turns his attention away from  racing. However, don’t go thinking that Red Bull will lose its mojo this year: the team knows what it takes to be the best.

DANIEL RICCIARDO No. 3

Ricciardo enters his second season with Red Bull, and fourth full season overall, as outright team leader for the first time. He proved tenacious when he needed to be last year and seized the best possible result at almost every opportunity last year, with the three wins the standout but other podium or top-five runs also turning heads. Now faced with a new teammate in Daniil Kvyat who’s poised to emulate what Ricciardo did last year, will Ricciardo rise to the challenge or lose his ubiquitous smile if Daniil Kvyat outperforms expectations?

DANIIL KVYAT No. 26

As debut seasons go, Kvyat’s can be described as “solid but unspectacular”. The young Russian certainly made an impact by scoring points on his debut, and although he was ultimately beaten by Toro Rosso teammate Jean-Eric Vergne in the final standings, Kvyat was arguably the better driver. One of the biggest highlights came in qualifying for his home race in Russia where he qualified fifth, only for the STR9 to chew up its tires and leave him out of the points on Sunday. The step up to Red Bull is a big one, but Kvyat doesn’t feel under pressure. If anything, he could thrive under it in 2015 alongside Ricciardo.

Supercross: Haiden Deegan debuts in 250s at Houston, Justin Cooper graduates to 450 class for Star Yamaha

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Rising star Haiden Deegan will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut in Houston, Texas with Yamaha Star Racing while the 2021 250 West champion Justin Cooper graduates to 450s.

Deegan, the son of motocross and off-road legend Brian Deegan and brother of NASCAR Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan, made two starts in the Pro Motocross outdoors season last year. He finished 31st overall at the Ironman Nationals in Crawfordsville, Indiana and was 13th at Fox Raceway in the season-ender at Fox Raceway in Pala, California, but the overall results did not necessarily reflect how well he ran. In both events, he challenged for top-10s during portions of the week and actually finished 10th in one of the Pala motos.

Last week, Haiden finished fifth in the Supercross 250 Futures in Anaheim 2.

“We’re really excited to get the season on the East Coast started,” said Monster Energy Team Manager Jensen Hendler in a press release. “It’s also exciting to have Haiden move up to join our pro program this season and to have Justin make his debut on the 450. The guys have been working hard and are looking forward to seeing what they can do this weekend in Houston.”

After scoring a 250SX Futures podium, Talon Hawkins gets 250 East ride.

Deegan will join Nate Thrasher and Jordon Smith in the 250 East division this week.

Cooper moves into the 450 class this weekend. According to Supercross rules, after winning the 2021 championship, he had one season to defend his title and then would be required to move up a class. Cooper missed all of last year to injury.

Cooper was healthy when the outdoor season started and he earned five podiums and nine top-fives in 12 rounds. Three of these races ended in runners-up finishes, at Hangtown, in Rancho Cordova, California, Washougal, Washington and Unadilla, New York.

Cooper joins Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis in the 450 class and will race select events.

Justin Cooper learned to temper aggression with speed

Cooper’s Houston attempt will be the first of an undisclosed number of races he will compete in during the 2023 season.

“It’s been about two years since I’ve lined up for a supercross, and now it’s in a new class with the best guys, so I’m excited to just get out there,” Cooper said. “I’m looking to get back under the lights and learn what I can. Overall, I’m just really excited to be in the position to be out there, so I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy it!”

Deegan and Cooper will be part of a seven-rider Supercross lineup for Yamaha Star Racing. Nick Romano will debut in the 250 East division later this year.