From the outside, success in Formula One appears to be the preserve of a tiny number of people – two drivers, a pit wall of senior personnel and a small crew of dedicated engineers and mechanics in the garage.
Nothing could be further from the truth, however, and grand prix racing relies on a vastly larger group effort involving hundreds of team members back at the team's base, as well as the support of a host of hard-working partners and suppliers all of whom feed into the achievements reached at the track. If there is an analogy it is simply that the race team is simply the razor-sharp tip of a very long spear.
Tasked with keeping that spear aimed on target is Team Principal Christian Horner OBE, who since the foundation of the team in 2005 has made it his goal to carefully assemble and marshal a team of like-minded, passionately committed racing experts in pursuit of grand prix glory.
For Horner, the process is deceptively simple. "It's all about empowerment," he insists. "You hire people you think are the very best at what they do and you have to trust them to do that job to the best of their ability. If people are invested in what they do, in their contribution to building something then the rewards will come."
Christian's path to the top rung of the Formula One management ladder began on the other side of the pit wall, as a driver desperate to race at the highest levels. After stints in Formula Renault, British F3 and Formula Two, he realised his true skills lay not behind the wheel but at the tiller of a team itself and over the coming years he would build his own Arden International race team into a junior motorsport powerhouse.
He guided the squad to three consecutive Drivers' and Team Championships, a record remarkable enough to bring him to the attention of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, and when the drinks company took the radical step of setting up its own Formula One team for the 2005 season, it turned to Horner to run the operation.
Over the next four seasons, Horner worked assiduously to assemble a team capable of challenging for major honours. The recruitment of Adrian Newey as Chief Technical Officer was the most obvious coup, but the policy of placing the right people in the right positions was applied across the team, and by the start of the 2009 campaign the team was ideally placed to make a serious challenge.
The team took its first win, and it's first 1-2 victory, at the Chinese Grand Prix in 2009. From there the floodgates opened. Six wins and second place in the Constructors' Championship in 2009 became nine victories and Team and Drivers' title winners in 2010. Three more double crowns followed over the next three campaigns, putting the team in an exclusive club of just three teams to take four or more constructors' titles consecutively.
The 2014 season, however, began a period of transition for the team as the sport introduced hybrid, turbocharged 1.6 litre power units. The shift put the team at a distinct power disadvantage and over the next three seasons success came intermittently.
It was, once again, a time to rebuild and reinforce and personnel changes were matched by a reinvigoration of the driver line-up, with Australian hot shoe Daniel Ricciardo joining the team in 2014 and Dutch racing wunderkind Max Verstappen being drafted into the squad last season.
The mix of focused continuity and fresh blood worked to boost the team back to front-running status in 2016 and last year the team finished as Constructors' Championship runners up thanks to Verstappen's first career win (on his first race weekend with the team) and Ricciardo's superb fourth career grand prix victory, at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The 2017 season offers more opportunities. The largest regulations changes since the introduction of hybrid power are putting the emphasis firmly back on chassis and aerodynamics – traditionally the team's forte. It's a hugely exciting period in Formula One and one the team, with Christian at its head, is more than ready for.