Racing is the only job where uncompetitive people are a requirement. You don’t want that in medicine, education or the X-Factor finals. I’m not saying that Red Bull are those lazy kids at the back of the class, but it’s the nature of the sport; times change, and winners change, but only as long as challengers still exist to choose from.
As for the attitude problem, that goes both ways. When Caterham and Marussia were in trouble we were much kinder and more accommodating than we are now. Whining aside, it seems we’re more willing to accept mediocrity as long as it comes with good PR. When it suits us we pretend that we don’t understand business, that teams don’t treat this in terms of profit and loss. But we know they do and we still act surprised when they talk about it out loud.
Maybe it’s not the romanticised spirit of racing that we crave, but the laws of natural selection seem to apply perfectly here. Except Mercedes don’t need to eat Manor to survive, they just look good by comparison and maybe get a buck or two from them. Plus, just like wolves, they cannot survive alone; they need other alpha males to fight for supremacy. And, as we’ve seen (not literally though), supremacy in media coverage is not easy to come by. I’m not about to cry Niki Lauda’s sorrows, as we’ve been here before circa Vettel 2011, but it might just be the only thing that Red Bull Racing has not complained about of late. And with that, we finally get to the topic.
What happens if Red Bull quits? What if they gather their toys from all over the tarmac, pack their little brothers’ diapers and ride the pimped out campervan back home?
The full consequences are far beyond my humble reach as a spectator to the circus, but if college has thought me anything it’s that a pros & cons list can fix any dilemma. So I’ll attempt to do this here, and then let you decide whether we should care or not about their potential demise: