Van drivers have F1 racer mindset, says Red Bull boss, as bizarre promotional film is released


Red Bull has tackled one of the great unanswered questions in motor sport – what if an RB7 took on a Spitfire, London bus and a white van (plus a few more)?

Red Bull spitfire

The Red Bull flexi-wing plot thickens

Red Bull

White van drivers take the same approach to roadcraft as F1 drivers, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed, saying: “It’s all about ‘What are the limits?'”

In a highly unorthodox promotional video, Red Bull’s pits its own 2011 RB7, ostensibly driven by Max Verstappen, against an “iconic British line-up” in a Best of British Showdown race.

Taking on the championship-winning Milton Keynes machine is the aforementioned Spitfire (thankfully not taking off on the track), a red London double-decker night bus, black London cab, white van, ‘boy-racer’ Ford Fiesta and a Volkswagen Polo crammed with apparent ‘festival goers’.

The race, held at Goodwood, features said vehicles starting in that order on the grid, with ‘Max’ at the back of the pack.

Suitably cringeworthy commentary is accompanied by retro 8-bit video-game graphics, as the Red Bull scythes its way through seldom-found field.

Is it really Verstappen behind the wheel? It seems unlikely. Red Bull Jr Liam Lawson may have been roped in or, even worse, Alex Albon might have suffered the ignominy of pretending to be the Dutchman.

Still, this might represent the British-Thai driver’s best-ever chance of a win in an F1 car.

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Verstappen appears to phone in some rehearsed radio messages via Microsoft Teams, delivering thrilling lines like “Let’s do it” and “Great race”.

Making a slightly surreal link between the Red Bull promotional short and this weekend’s British GP, Horner suggested tradespeople the world over like to push the envelope just like fighter pilots and F1 drivers, when asked why speed 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?’,” he said.

“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.”

Red Bull pass

Red Bull simulates Mazepin avoidance tactics this weekend

Red Bull

Looking ahead to upcoming British GP, Verstappen commented on his approach to an altered weekend format featuring F1’s very first sprint race.

“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,” he said. “Let’s wait and see how it goes!”