The many changes in the technical regulations brought more than one upset to the Formula One community this year, and apart from the Brawn GP operation, the Red Bull outfit was another team to determine the right approach in taking on this new reality.
That early start was
followed by continous development work on the RB5 single seater over the months which followed, work which displayed the experience gained by the team since the opening race in Australia back in March.
Red Bull has already taken second place in the constructors' standings and currently holds nearly twice the points than third-best McLaren. The team scored its maiden victories this year, with Sebastien Vettel recording three wins (China, Britain, Japan) and Mark Webber taking two (Germany, Brazil).
German driver Vettel was in the title fight until the conclusion of the Brazilian Grand Prix and may become the 2009 championship runner-up when this Sunday's Abu Dhabi GP closes the season, while his Australian teammate Webber has already secured fourth position in the drivers' standings.
"You have to reflect where the team has come from," Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said. "This year has presented a significant step for the team. We have emerged as race winners and we were title contenders with both drivers throughout the bulk of the championship.
Praising the double title success of Jenson Button
and the Brawn team, and stating that "They quite simply did a stronger job over the duration (of the 17-race season)," Horner explained his satisfaction in knowing that Red Bull gave the championship winners a good fight.
"When you reflect on the second half of the season I don't think there is anybody that has scored more points," he said. "For the team it has been a huge step and I am extremely proud of what all the guys in Milton Keynes have managed to achieve and we have got good foundations.
"We have been well supported by Renault as you don't win races and achieve the kind of results we have had without great support from your engine supplier," the Red Bull boss pointed out.
Horner expects Red Bull to be back among the top teams next year, ready to fight at the front once more: "There are a lot of lessons that have been learnt for this year and a lot we will take forward into 2010.
"And with continuity and reasonable stability in the regulations we think we can really build on what we have achieved this year and hopefully take the next step," he said.