Aerial Aces: The Hotshots

Part 4 of our Master Class recap

Hannes and Paul chatting

In this final part of our look at the pilots of the Red Bull Air Race we wrap up with the men of the hour, the top dogs... or as we like to call them – The Hotshots! These are the guys topping the timing sheets, winning races, claiming World Championships... the guys all that all the other pilots are chasing:

Nigel Lamb
Race Number: 9
Lamb is the current World Champion, what more is there to say? The final six races of the 2014 season saw Lamb finish in the top two each and every time. The Brit and his team are the great innovators. He was the first to bring in the huge vertical winglets, which have been copied by several others since. You can often see Lamb and his technician, Nigel Huxtable, discussing what they can improve on next. Lamb would be the first to admit he's not had the best season this year, but you can never count him out of the fight.

Hannes Arch
Race Number: 22
Arch became the youngest ever World Champion when he won the title in 2008, in only his second World Championship seaso, and was the first European World Champion too. Although he has only one World Champion title to his name, the Austrian has finished in second place every season since. He is one of the calmest pilots and has an ice-cool demeanour that's seems to suggest no matter how bad he's performing, he'll be able to turn it around on Race Day. And like a true champion he's done just that on numerous occasions. An engine failure at Ascot this year put a dent in his championship hopes, but you wouldn't bet against him – he likes to be the hunter in this game.

Paul Bonhomme
Race Number: 55
Without a doubt, Paul Bonhomme is the man to beat. Two World Championship titles and 18 race wins make him the most successful pilot in the history of the Red Bull Air Race. Mr. Smooth, Mr. Consistent... Bonhomme has several names that describe the way he flies and the way he competes. He is a fierce competitor and hates to lose. His graceful flying style is often copied, but never bettered. At race weekends he is usually the first to find the best lines. He's backed by a solid team, the core of which has worked together since 2008. He didn't have a standout 2014 season, but has come back this year firing on all cylinders, and wants to be the first pilot ever to win the World Championship title for the third time.

Matt Hall
Race Number: 95
Matt Hall is the newest member to the Hotshots. His 2015 season is unrecognisable from 2014. This year he has been on the podium in all but one race, and even then he only finished in fifth. Last season the best he could manage was just two top three finishes. Hall has always been one to watch in the World Championship, but since arriving in 2015 armed with his new winglets, his racing has been transformed. This Australian is another pilot who knows the lines he's going to fly before he's even taken off – and usually he's bang on form. He has yet to win a race, but the smart money will be on him achieving that goal sooner rather than later. And once he's done that, you can bet that a World Championship title will be on its way soon after.