The final race had no end of drama and excitement, but now that the dust has settled, 19-time race winner Paul Bonhomme reviews how he thinks the pilots performed at the very last Red Bull Air Race…
With nine race wins and two Challenger Cup titles there is no doubt that Florian Bergér is the most successful pilot ever to have flown in the feeder series.
At the final race in Chiba he won easily. The race was cancelled due to adverse weather, leading the Race Committee to take the results from Qualifying, which saw Bergér at the top. The result was far from a circumstantial fluke – the German had earned his win, topping every timesheet over the race week.
Only one pilot has ever successfully defended the Red Bull Air Race World Championship title, but Czech star Martin Sonka could become the second. To do so, he’ll have to hold on to his nerve, and hold off two of his top rivals.
Ben Murphy may be the newest contender in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, but he and the Blades Racing Team promptly added to Britain’s legacy in the sport with a landmark rookie campaign in 2018. Then, just weeks ago, Ben clinched his first-ever race podium with second place at Lake Balaton, Hungary, jumping to fourth overall. As the British ace prepares to fight for the World Championship podium at September’s season finale in Japan, here are some insights on what makes him tick.
Yoshihide Muroya stormed into the 2019 season like a man on a mission. He wants the world title back, and after two races it looked as though no other pilot could catch him.
After Kazan Muroya had collected 53 out of a possible 56 points, thanks to one Qualifying win and two race wins. He was nine points ahead at the top of the standings, with Sonka in second, and Hall 17 points behind in third.
Some elite athletes can be skittish about sharing their routines and rituals, but Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall isn’t one of them. The Australian provides a behind-the-scenes look at his typical day at a World Championship stop, moment by moment.
With his victory at Lake Balaton, only September’s season finale left to race, Matt Hall has put himself squarely in contention for the title. After earning four World Championship podiums without attaining the top step, Hall has just one more chance to claim the trophy. And he’s aiming to make the most of it.
Having joined the World Championship in 2009, Hall is in his eighth season, and his record of 24 race podiums – including seven wins – makes him the most successful Red Bull Air Race pilot never to have won a season title.
But he has come very, very close.
It has been a trying week for the pilots, but like the pros they are, they delivered a spectacular race. Here’s what they thought of it.
1st Matt Hall
There hasn’t been a moment’s rest in Matthias Dolderer’s hangar since he clipped a pylon in Qualifying in Kazan causing damage that put him out of the race. As a result there was much work needed on the raceplane to make it competitive for this weekend’s race in Hungary.
It was a race against the clock for Dolderer, and his technical team, especially race technician Kai Frommelt, who had to ensure everything was fixed and signed off in time for the Lake Balaton round.
Yoshihide Muroya has won 50 per cent of this season’s races. He wants a full house, and to ultimately be crowned World Champion for the second time in his career... but this time he wants that crowning glory to take place in front of his home fans!