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Start Bahrain GP
Days
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Max Verstappen

The Red Bull man that takes the podium with Verstappen

When the lights go out, Max Verstappen is largely left to fight the rest of the grid on his own. However, Formula 1 is a team sport, meaning there are countless people behind the scenes that make Red Bull tick. Paul Monaghan is one of those people, and while his name may not ring a bell, his importance to the team and top designer Adrian Newey can't be questioned.

Born on October 18, 1967, Paul Monaghan has been with Red Bull since the team's early days in Formula 1. Initially a prominent member of the racing and test development team before becoming head of the automotive engineering division, Monaghan currently spends a lot of his time at the factory helping with the development of the car.

However that doesn't mean he doesn't make an appearance on race weekends from time to time. The now 53-year-old is known as one of the most experienced and knowledgable engineers on the grid thanks to more than three decades of Grand Prix experience, and his contribution to the success of Red Bull, and Max Verstappen in particular, cannot be overstated.

After earning his mechanical engineering degree in 1989, the 22-year-old found himself at McLaren, where he spent the next decade alongside names like Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger, and then Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. The latter period of his spell saw him work closely with Adrian Newey, the current chief designer at Red Bull.

The Englishman left McLaren for Benetton in 2000, with Renault taking over the team a year later. While Monaghan was initially made Jenson Button's race engineer, he would be paired with Fernando Alonso in 2003 after the Englishman's departure, and be on the pitfall for the Spaniard's first win in Budapest that year.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Monaghan joined Red Bull in 2005 following their takeover of Jaguar. Despite serving as a race engineer after the switch, he has since played a key role in the car's development at the factory since 2009, ensuring that Newey's designs are optimised in the wind tunnel.

Monaghan is one of the key figured that helped Red Bull achieve driver and manufacturer success from 2010 to 2013. As Newey's confidant and right-hand man, he's been closely involved with the development of the Red-Bull Honda RB16B, a car Max Verstappen hopes will be competitive enough to push for the title in 2021.

His current title of 'Chief Engineer, Car Engineering' means that Monaghan is tasked with getting the most out of the Red Bull car on race weekends. That didn't always come to fruition last season, but his contribution was made evident by the fact that he joined Verstappen on the podium after the Dutchman's dominant victory in Abu Dhabi.

"I think Max has become a more complete driver," Monaghan said about Verstappen last season. "He understands the car and the tires better. His racing skills have always been his greatest weapon and his speed is phenomenal. I think Max has matured as a person, but also in his role within the team. It's great to work with him. "

No doubt Red Bull, Verstappen, and Monaghan will be hoping for more scenes like in Abu Dhabi in 2021 as they look to push Mercedes for that top spot they've held for so long.

Paul Monaghan career

Year Team
1990 - 2000 McLaren
2000 - 2005 Benetton
2005 Jordan Grand Prix
2005 - present Red Bull Racing

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