Former Red Bull driver David Coulthard got the chance to sample the double title-winning RB19 at Silverstone, team boss Christian Horner getting him the all-clear.
The RB19 proved to be arguably the most dominant F1 challenger ever created, winning 21 of the 22 grands prix in F1 2023.
19 of those were claimed by Max Verstappen, as team and driver stormed to a third Drivers’ title and sixth Constructors’ crown respectively.
David Coulthard gets behind the RB19 wheel
Coulthard was there at the very start of the Red Bull journey, piloting their first challenger – the RB1 in 2005 – and remaining with the team until his retirement at the end of the 2008 campaign.
Coulthard was back behind the wheel though in 2023, as the 13-time grand prix winner got the chance to drive the RB19 at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix.
“RB19 is arguably the most successful grand prix car ever to have raced,” he said.
“I’ve been on Christian Horner’s case since the beginning of the year, asking him, begging him for the opportunity to experience just what this monster feels like on the race track.”
So, as Coulthard arrived at the Red Bull garage at Silverstone, handed his ‘2023 Geriatric Driver Control Engineering Procedures’ document, he then bumped into Horner, who was jokingly in disbelief that this was actually happening when he saw Coulthard in the Red Bull overalls.
“Oh my God, I thought you were joking the other day!” Horner said with a smile. “I didn’t realise you were serious!”
Armed with some advice from Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson, who contested five grands prix with Red Bull’s second team AlphaTauri in F1 2023 in place of the injured Daniel Ricciardo, Coulthard took to the Silverstone circuit.
Allowed one push lap, Coulthard exclaimed: “What a privilege! What an honour! This is a car of its generation, it’s a mind-blowing machine.”
Coulthard’s out-loud thought of “maybe even I could have won the title in this car?” was met with off-camera laughter from the crew in attendance. All in good fun of course.
Horner reflected on Coulthard’s outing with Channel 4, one which he said the engineers at Red Bull needed plenty of convincing to allow it to happen.
Simply asked “what were you thinking?”, Horner replied: “Well, we did have a good chat before and I had to convince the engineers that DC would not be putting it in the wall or misbehaving in any way.”
Fortunately, there were no such shenanigans for the Scot, who made sure to keep the double title-winning RB19 in one piece.