Red Bull have started the 2023 Formula 1 season like a bullet train, but there's another thing in the pipeline which could help them continue to dominate in future seasons.
The design of the car and two exceptional drivers are the obvious driving reasons for their success, but there was a behind-the-scenes appointment in 2022 which is starting to prove fruitful.
Before the Dutch Grand Prix, Sebastian Job was announced as the team's official simulator driver despite only competing in 23 real-life races.
Those came in the 2018 Formula Ford Championship in the UK, but his real-world exploits are not the focus of Red Bull.
Sim racing extraordinaire
Where Job has really begun to shine is in sim racing where, in 2020, he won the TAG Heuer Porsche Esports Supercup with Oracle Red Bull Esports.
He is still a contender in that series with Red Bull, while also driving for AlphaTauri in the official F1 Esports series.
He is yet to be victorious in F1 Esports but Red Bull were highly impressed with his adaptability over multiple different simulators and gave him a chance to shine in their own.
Job impressed so much that he was quickly hired to be the simulator driver at Milton Keynes, where he has helped the reigning champions gain those extra hundredths in both qualifying and race trim.
Red Bull are the first to properly integrate an Esports driver in their team in this manner and, given the results that have come, other teams may well want to follow in their footsteps sooner rather than later.
Real world crossover
Job's racing exploits may have been short in the real world but the crossover between that and sim racing is getting ever smaller.
The Brit's team-mate in the TAG Heuer Porsche Esports Supercup, Cooper Webster, made his GB4 debut over the Easter weekend, claiming a podium at Oulton Park.
F1 Esports champion Lucas Blakeley is heading to Formula Ford himself while Jarno Opmeer, a two-time champion, raced in Formula Renault before having to switch to sim racing due to a lack of money.
Most notably, Cem Bolukbasi went from sim racing to Formula 2 in 2022 and now races in Super Formula in Japan against the likes of Liam Lawson and Kamui Kobayashi.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.