To celebrate his and Red Bull Racing’s double-triple Formula One World Championships, Sebastian Vettel took the RB8 for a run through the streets of Graz.
Demand for the show car is pretty heavy, even at this time of year, and as a result the team can sometimes get double-booked, as it did last weekend. While Daniel Ricciardo was driving the RB7 in Argentina, the RB8 was pressed into service in Austria for some bloke called Vettel. He seemed to know what he was doing.
Seb’s blast around Graz was witnessed by a crowd of 30,000, crammed into whatever nook, cranny and baroque townhouse they could find in the medieval city centre. As a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, a howling Renault V8 at max revs isn’t usually on the menu but given the city’s links to both Red Bull's founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, and motorsports advisor Dr Helmut Marko it was the obvious place for Sebastian to celebrate this third Formula One world Championship title.
And while the city is most closely associated with Jochen Rindt Arnold Schwarzenegger and a really big pumpkin festival, for the weekend it was Seb’s playground. Snow threatened to spoil the celebrations but held off so the youngest triple world champion in the history of Formula One could get out his full bag of tricks, performing burnouts, pirouettes, accelerations and heavy, heavy braking to the cheers of the spectators. After jumping out of the car the world champion spent a couple of hours braving the bitter cold to sign autographs – including those of 200 visitors who had flown down from his home town of Heppenheim.
After leaving Graz, Seb and the RB8 made their way to Spielberg and the Red Bull Ring, where the asphalt was rather more forgiving than the cobbles had been.