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Red Bulls young driver programme, the ethics.


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Poll: Red Bulls real motivation behind the young driver programme? (108 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you think Red Bulls real motivation behind the young driver programme is?

  1. To promote their brand. (76 votes [56.72%])

    Percentage of vote: 56.72%

  2. To developed young drivers. (37 votes [27.61%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.61%

  3. Just to get drivers to F1 ASAP. (16 votes [11.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.94%

  4. Other (please state) (5 votes [3.73%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.73%

Do you agree with their approach?

  1. Yes. (39 votes [36.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.11%

  2. No. (34 votes [31.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.48%

  3. Don't care. (35 votes [32.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.41%

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#1 olliek88

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:00

With more speculation about the future of the Torro Rosso drivers it got me wondering about the drivers who have been in the Red Bull young driver programme during its existence and also the real motivation behind Red Bull hiring the various drivers that they have over the years and their rather scatter gun approach to finding young talent.

Personally I am not a fan of their approach to finding talent, they seem to have very little interest in actually developing of alot of these young guys and just use them as a promotional tool that fits their "look" before ditching them the moment they fail to meet expectations, meaning the young driver has very little chance to find an alternative form of funding, before replacing them with another young driver who has shown the slightest bit of talent and fits their "look", this seems to go in circles hiring and firing with very little thought to the driver who has been dropped. Brendan Hartley is one case in point, after having a bad start to his WSR programme last season he was dropped without warning mid season, meaning he was left without a drive and struggling to find funding for 2011, sure i understand that motorsport is ruthless but would it not of hurt them to say, look Brendon your not hitting your targets and at the end of the year we'll be letting you go, rather than just dropping him there and then. Jaime Alguersuari was promoted through the junior formula way to quickly, and was thrown in at the deep end in F1 and now he is not doing quite as well as his more experienced team mate he looks set to be dropped.

My point is do they really have a interest in developing young talent or do they just see them as another way to sell more drinks? or is it that they are just lazy and don't really want to be in it for the long haul with the young drivers? put it this way, here is a list of the drivers, current and former, who have been in the young driver programme since 2005, thats 31 drivers in less than 6 years.

Mikhail Aleshin
Filipe Albuquerque
Jaime Alguersuari
Michael Ammermüller
Pedro Bianchini
Mirko Bortolotti
Sébastien Buemi
Karun Chandhok
Stefano Coletti
Tom Dillmann
John Edwards
Brendon Hartley
Neel Jani
Daniel Juncadella
Daniil Kvyat
Mika Mäki
Kevin Mirocha
Daniel Morad
Oliver Oakes
Edoardo Piscopo
Niall Quinn
Daniel Ricciardo
Carlos Sainz, Jr.
Jean-Eric Vergne
Jean Karl Vernay
Sebastian Vettel
Robert Wickens
Adrian Zaugg
Vitantonio Liuzzi
Christian Klien
Scott Speed

Edited by olliek88, 29 May 2011 - 19:11.


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#2 DanardiF1

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:09

I think that people use Vettel as an example of this system 'working', but I disagree. The Red Bull programme doesn't prepare the drivers for Formula 1 and actually freeze out other more talented drivers due to them not fitting their 'image'...

You have to add:

Vitantonio Liuzzi
Christian Klien
Scott Speed

as well, and look how each of those drivers were treated, regardless of talent level...

Also, look at the fact that at Red Bull Racing itself, the 'ultimate goal' for these junior drivers, there is one Mark Webber, a driver not affiliated with the program (being a Mercedes Junior driver back in the late 90's) in any way, when you would expect the two best of the Junior program to occupy those seats...

Edited by DanardiF1, 29 May 2011 - 19:11.


#3 olliek88

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:11

I think that people use Vettel as an example of this system 'working', but I disagree. The Red Bull programme doesn't prepare the drivers for Formula 1 and actually freeze out other more talented drivers due to them not fitting their 'image'...

You have to add:

Vitantonio Liuzzi
Christian Klien
Scott Speed

as well, and look how each of those drivers were treated, regardless of talent level...


Will add them, cheers, wasn't sure if i had got all of them in there.


#4 Sammyosammy

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:17

Someone´s just about to switching RB to Battery??? Pissed perhaps?? :)

Edited by Sammyosammy, 29 May 2011 - 19:17.


#5 olliek88

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:19

Someone´s just about to switching RB to Battery??? Pissed perhaps?? :)


I assume Battery is an energy drink but never heard of it, nah, its all about Monster! haha, i've been meaning to post this for a while but never got round to it.

#6 Hole

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:28

I think they messed up with Jaime. Jaime was a promising driver but just was thrown to the seat too early. Now, bye bye to him, we'll never know if with a proper entrance to F1 he would really succeed.

#7 Starish

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:38

I don't see how this system can prepare a driver, they try and make it some kind of accelerated format to find true talent but I believe an experienced driver should in Toro Rosso, they need the guidance from this driver instead of frolicking like kids, a guy like Coulthard or Heidfeld to just help develop them, the system doesn't work as I don't consider Vettel as he was helped by BMW to Mature. Buemi is really shaping up though.

#8 Dunder

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:39

Marketing is, of course, part of it but motorsport is a whole is benefited by the investment Red Bull make in various series.

In terms of the driver program I would agree that the jury is still out but RBR is now a front running team and, aside from Vettel, I don't see anyone that has shown enough to be worthy of the seat. Buemi is doing OK but Alguersuari (after looking quite good for a good chunk of last year) has reverted to how he appeared to be after being thrown in at the deep end in '09.

Ricciardo look very promising obviously. Suppose he does fulfil the hype and does graduate through STR and into RBR, would we questioning the merits of the young driver program then?

#9 Seanspeed

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:41

I think they're doing it right. I dont think all this 'extra preparation' in the junior categories really helps drivers too much when they get to F1. I think drivers either click with F1, or they dont. And Red Bull have been fair with the drivers that haven't gotten that far, too. Even a guy like Robert Wickens, who I would desperately love to see in an F1 seat, was dropped by Red Bull cuz he simply wasn't delivering on his promise.

Of course they want to promote their brand, but the best way to do that is to have star drivers. Vettel was one of them and they are looking for their next Vettel. Ricciardo is their new hope and while he's looking good for a Toro Rosso seat in 2012, he's also not gonna be forgiven for a Bourdais-like year. Ricciardo is young, but he's gotten plenty of junior experience right now, so there's little excuse for not performing in the top category. Buemi is FAR from a top talent so failing to beat him is a failure in Red Bull's eyes and rightfully so. Jaime was promising, but he simply isn't living up to expectations and as much as I like him, I wouldn't blame Red Bull for dropping him after the year if this form continues. This sport aint a charity. You've gotta deliver if you want to continue. With as many drivers as Red Bull supports, they cant afford to hold on to drivers who AREN'T doing this. Its fair enough, in my opinion. I cant think of anybody who gives as many drivers a chance.

#10 Fastcake

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:42

The whole point of the entire Formula 1 program, heck their entire extreme sports sponsorship, is to promote Red Bull. Marko is extremely ruthless in running the young driver scheme, and you can argue that they ditch drivers far too easily. However, most drivers would be happy with any sort of support, and I imagine the contracts clearly stipulate performance clauses that could cause them to lose their seat.

#11 olliek88

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:49

Marketing is, of course, part of it but motorsport is a whole is benefited by the investment Red Bull make in various series.

In terms of the driver program I would agree that the jury is still out but RBR is now a front running team and, aside from Vettel, I don't see anyone that has shown enough to be worthy of the seat. Buemi is doing OK but Alguersuari (after looking quite good for a good chunk of last year) has reverted to how he appeared to be after being thrown in at the deep end in '09.

Ricciardo look very promising obviously. Suppose he does fulfil the hype and does graduate through STR and into RBR, would we questioning the merits of the young driver program then?


Its a valid point, however i can't help but feel they don't have a long term plan with alot, if not all, of the drivers they have on their programme, i mean what happens if Jean Eric Vergne wins WSR this year? where does he go from their if Danny Ric takes Jaime's seat and Webber stays on? he can't do a second season in WSR and theres no place for him in F1?

Of all the young driver programmes around i felt the best were Renaults original one and Mclarens/Mercedes, they genuinely try and prepare drivers for a career as a racing driver, not just give them a drive for a year or two and hope it works out.

But i do agree that Danny Ric looks very talented and could be a future RBR driver, so perhaps that a few successes negates all the failures?

#12 DarthWillie

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:53

difficult one, take the example of Hartley, he was very good till F3 and then suddenly looked like he could not raise himself to the next level. Should Red Bull keep supporting him if they stopped believing he could do it. In the end it is still a commercial deal in which certain results are expected.

#13 Sausage

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 19:58

It's mostly marketing with some added development, having a group of young guys you can call your own. But no I can't care much for it. They are all free individuals that can chose where to build on their career. If you get dropped well sucks for you, but isn't that the same thing with every job.

#14 Dunder

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 20:07

Its a valid point, however i can't help but feel they don't have a long term plan with alot, if not all, of the drivers they have on their programme, i mean what happens if Jean Eric Vergne wins WSR this year? where does he go from their if Danny Ric takes Jaime's seat and Webber stays on? he can't do a second season in WSR and theres no place for him in F1?

Of all the young driver programmes around i felt the best were Renaults original one and Mclarens/Mercedes, they genuinely try and prepare drivers for a career as a racing driver, not just give them a drive for a year or two and hope it works out.

But i do agree that Danny Ric looks very talented and could be a future RBR driver, so perhaps that a few successes negates all the failures?


Throughout lower series there are hundreds of drivers whose ambition is to make it to F1. Very few will ever get close even if they have substantial backing.

If Vergne is considered good enough for an F1 seat but there is not one available, he will have to wait - he will not be the only driver in this situation in this period where no testing delays the 'retirement' of experienced GP drivers.

#15 Clatter

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 20:11

Don't see why there should be any objection to their program. So what if not all the drivers make it? At least they were given the funding and chance to shine, it's up to them to take that oppurtunity and show their worth. Add to that, what other F1 teams have a program for bringing on drivers? Seems to me that most are happy to let someone else do the work and then poach the best drivers.

#16 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 20:12

They're like most driver programs actually. If you don't meet whatever goals they set for you, you're out. Renault had the same system, they got rid of a lot of people at the end of each season. Kubica, when he first started out, was part of the Renault scheme, but I don't think he finished high enough in Formula Renault or whatever he was in. So they let him go and he slipped off the radar a little. It wasn't until he got to F1 that he was really getting people's attention again.

Red Bull are running it as a low frequency but high yield part of their F1 team now. They kept signing new guys hoping to find The Next Star and eventually they got it in Vettel. It's not meant to be economically efficient really, it's mean to find a guy for the future.

#17 William Hunt

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 20:13

Toyota used to have such a system as well, BAR / Honda too.

#18 BRG

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 20:16

Red Bull don't HAVE to support any driver in the junior formulae. So none of these guys have anything to complain about. There are plenty of others who would be delighted to have RB supporting them.

#19 DILLIGAF

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 03:40

I think they're doing it right. I dont think all this 'extra preparation' in the junior categories really helps drivers too much when they get to F1. I think drivers either click with F1, or they dont. And Red Bull have been fair with the drivers that haven't gotten that far, too. Even a guy like Robert Wickens, who I would desperately love to see in an F1 seat, was dropped by Red Bull cuz he simply wasn't delivering on his promise.

Of course they want to promote their brand, but the best way to do that is to have star drivers. Vettel was one of them and they are looking for their next Vettel. Ricciardo is their new hope and while he's looking good for a Toro Rosso seat in 2012, he's also not gonna be forgiven for a Bourdais-like year. Ricciardo is young, but he's gotten plenty of junior experience right now, so there's little excuse for not performing in the top category. Buemi is FAR from a top talent so failing to beat him is a failure in Red Bull's eyes and rightfully so. Jaime was promising, but he simply isn't living up to expectations and as much as I like him, I wouldn't blame Red Bull for dropping him after the year if this form continues. This sport aint a charity. You've gotta deliver if you want to continue. With as many drivers as Red Bull supports, they cant afford to hold on to drivers who AREN'T doing this. Its fair enough, in my opinion. I cant think of anybody who gives as many drivers a chance.


Well said :up: Also, how many talented young drivers actually make it to F1? Less than 1%? Red Bull are doing well if 3 or 4 young blokes out of 30-40 do make it onto the grid imho.

Edited by DILLIGAF, 02 June 2011 - 03:45.


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#20 pingu666

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:11

I guess they have focused down onto finding the next extra special person, rather than some quite decent guys. personaly i dont know why they have so many drivers they are supporting at lower levels as sponsorship there isnt really cost effective in terms of exposure.

RB sponsors a massive number of people in all sorts of sports aswell, so i wonder how much training and support there is for red bull athletes.

#21 BennyJohnson

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:28

I think they messed up with Jaime. Jaime was a promising driver but just was thrown to the seat too early. Now, bye bye to him, we'll never know if with a proper entrance to F1 he would really succeed.


Hang on, What?

Giving a young driver a seat early is bad for their experience?

Really? :rolleyes:

The system may not have been perfect 5 year's ago, when the team midfield, now it's at the top, I'm sure their mandate has changed a bit.

#22 ClubmanGT

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:34

They pretty much ruined Hartley's career for two years, so I can't say I'm a fan :mad:

#23 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:12

He wouldn't have one othewise. I don't see how being given a budget, teams, F1 simulator and test work, is bad for your career.

#24 slideways

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:13

@ClubmanGT Would Hartley have made it to FR3.5/GP2 without them though? Big question.

#25 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:35

I think that people use Vettel as an example of this system 'working', but I disagree. The Red Bull programme doesn't prepare the drivers for Formula 1 and actually freeze out other more talented drivers due to them not fitting their 'image'...

You have to add:

Vitantonio Liuzzi
Christian Klien
Scott Speed

as well, and look how each of those drivers were treated, regardless of talent level...



What about the Honda or Renault junior drivers who never drove in F1!?

If STR was a GP2 team, then Red Bull would not produce so many F1-experienced drivers.

Where Liuzzi or Klien are quality F1 drivers - they have found drives elsewhere. Would Speed have any F1 races at all on his resume if not for a Red Bull association? Speed has a fantastic name though...

The goal of a young driver is to race in F1 even at Minardi or Hispania, yet STR is a competent lower midfield team... so surely the goals are being achieved for the young drivers.


However yes Markko is a quack, who should be well away from driver contract and team order dealings.

Edited by V8 Fireworks, 02 June 2011 - 05:36.


#26 ClubmanGT

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:00

He wouldn't have one othewise. I don't see how being given a budget, teams, F1 simulator and test work, is bad for your career.


True, but he also didn't get any FP seat time, they butchered his super license application and his Formulae series results were screwed because he effectively became a part-timer. I'm happy that they're at least treating Ricciardo better.


@ClubmanGT Would Hartley have made it to FR3.5/GP2 without them though? Big question.


He may have. There are consortiums here who back drivers who have talent like Dixon, Reid, etc. Plus Mitch Evans is making out without Red Bull (although with Webber, I don't think that counts though) or any other driver scheme. Dixon managed to get a test, etc. In the end, Hartley got no more championship on-track time than Dixon, despite the Red Bull connection.

Edited by ClubmanGT, 02 June 2011 - 06:03.


#27 H2H

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:05

They're like most driver programs actually. If you don't meet whatever goals they set for you, you're out. Renault had the same system, they got rid of a lot of people at the end of each season. Kubica, when he first started out, was part of the Renault scheme, but I don't think he finished high enough in Formula Renault or whatever he was in. So they let him go and he slipped off the radar a little. It wasn't until he got to F1 that he was really getting people's attention again.

Red Bull are running it as a low frequency but high yield part of their F1 team now. They kept signing new guys hoping to find The Next Star and eventually they got it in Vettel. It's not meant to be economically efficient really, it's mean to find a guy for the future.


Indeed. Red Bull is a long-term partner as long as you deliver, it allows the drivers to focus on driving and getting better and gives guys a lot of technical support that hardly any parter can. If you see the all the advantages it becomes quite clear why so many drivers are keen to get into their program, knowing that they can be thrown out quickly if they don't perform.

#28 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:06

Jesus, I hope Hartley doesn't have 10% of your sense of entitlement.

#29 ClubmanGT

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:16

Jesus, I hope Hartley doesn't have 10% of your sense of entitlement.


My sense of entitlement? Pardon me for not being impressed with how Red Bull treated a driver I like. If my having an opinion is too much a sense of entitlement, then I best pack my bags for North Korea or something more to your liking.

#30 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:19

Thanks to Red Bull he got to race in Formula Renault, British and Euro F3, got two years in World Series by Renault, got to test an F1 car, got their full support, etc, et al. He got five years out of them, but you're focusing on that he didn't take part in a Friday practice session on an F1 weekend?

#31 ClubmanGT

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:26

Thanks to Red Bull he got to race in Formula Renault, British and Euro F3, got two years in World Series by Renault, got to test an F1 car, got their full support, etc, et al. He got five years out of them, but you're focusing on that he didn't take part in a Friday practice session on an F1 weekend?


True, but he also had a disrupted season in Euro F3, lost a drive mid-year and obviously didn't have that much support within the team because he was dumped on a whim. I get what you're saying, but I still don't think they treated him well. And yea, I do think it's important to give reserve drivers seat time, and I think he should have got some if they realistically expected him to be a reserve driver. But that's just my opinion.

#32 Bbbut

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:13

I have two issues with their driver program:

1. The deep (most of the time career-ending) fall when a driver is deemed not good enough.
The thing is, a motorsport career is a competition part prevailing against other talents and part finding more money with every higher class. With these drivers though, Red Bull is often all the financial backing they have. There is very little chance for a second personal sponsor for example. They are Red Bull drivers first and foremost. Compare that to their 'normal' colleagues which had to cull their budgets every year since cart racing. Red Bull might mean good when they give young drivers all-inclusive full support so that they "can solely concentrate on driving", but it leaves them hopelessly unequipped once they fall from grace.

2. I think it is financially dumb from their side.
Why invest literally millions of dollars into drivers that turn out not good enough (in your standards)? Why waste so much money in trying out hordes of young drivers, when you could do it a lot more focused with better upfront talent scouting? Or maybe you could purposefully develop a driver based on a particular marketing demographic, if that is your goal?

#33 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:29

They don't pick people at random, there is a fair amount of talent scouting. I think they only have 4 people outside of F1 this year.

#34 sosidge

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:44

Obviously the Red Bull Junior system doesn't work, because the only successful graduate is Vettel. And as this board already knows, he isn't really any good.

Therefore the whole junior programme must be a conspiracy - spending huge amounts of money to fund teams and seek out drivers at multiple levels of motorsport - with the sole intention of making SV look better.

#35 ATM_Andy

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:55

What's the issue? It's their money, and it gives those a chance, who wouldn't necessarily be able to afford to compete.

#36 Jackman

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:21

True, but he also had a disrupted season in Euro F3, lost a drive mid-year and obviously didn't have that much support within the team because he was dumped on a whim. I get what you're saying, but I still don't think they treated him well. And yea, I do think it's important to give reserve drivers seat time, and I think he should have got some if they realistically expected him to be a reserve driver. But that's just my opinion.

Hartley got treated better than most of the Red Bull juniors, so he doesn't complain about it. In fact, even without their support, he's higher up the food chain because he knows people in the industry that he wouldn't otherwise know - he drove in GP2 after Red Bull dropped him because of contacts he'd made during his time with them. And I can think of an awful lot of guys who wish they'd had the 5 years he had with them.

Re. Vettel: I suspect the BMW support was just as valuable, if not more so, as the Red Bull support. They gave him his first F1 test / drive, after all, and in front of Glock.

#37 glorius&victorius

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:18

oh come on... what you want red bull to do? hold the drivers by their hand?

the tough one's survive and get through.. the rest goes home crying..

i think drivers and their management would be stupid only to depend on red bull for their racing career. the hartley example with a broader network is a good example.



#38 glorius&victorius

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:20

Obviously the Red Bull Junior system doesn't work, because the only successful graduate is Vettel. And as this board already knows, he isn't really any good.

Therefore the whole junior programme must be a conspiracy - spending huge amounts of money to fund teams and seek out drivers at multiple levels of motorsport - with the sole intention of making SV look better.


Vettel, Ricciardo, Buemi are the good ones that made it through. Jaime as well.. is just that in F1 there are so many seats available.

RB can only give a chance to compete a season or two and if you are not good enought.. what should RB do? teach you how to steer and brake?

At least there is RB promoting young drivers. After Marlboro left racing in almost all categories there have only been Renault and RB...

Edited by glorius&victorius, 02 June 2011 - 09:22.


#39 goldenboy

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:39

this is making me realise there may be a big problem if/when RB decide to exit F1. If the young driver scheme is suddenly canned not only would it affect a lot of drivers but teams that have become accustomed to their generous funding.

no? I don't really know just a thought well maybe not a big problem but a problem nonetheless

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#40 Clatter

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:12

True, but he also had a disrupted season in Euro F3, lost a drive mid-year and obviously didn't have that much support within the team because he was dumped on a whim. I get what you're saying, but I still don't think they treated him well. And yea, I do think it's important to give reserve drivers seat time, and I think he should have got some if they realistically expected him to be a reserve driver. But that's just my opinion.


He had the option of walking away and finding the funds elsewhere.

#41 Lukin83

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:04

They're like most driver programs actually. If you don't meet whatever goals they set for you, you're out. Renault had the same system, they got rid of a lot of people at the end of each season. Kubica, when he first started out, was part of the Renault scheme, but I don't think he finished high enough in Formula Renault or whatever he was in. So they let him go and he slipped off the radar a little. It wasn't until he got to F1 that he was really getting people's attention again.

Red Bull are running it as a low frequency but high yield part of their F1 team now. They kept signing new guys hoping to find The Next Star and eventually they got it in Vettel. It's not meant to be economically efficient really, it's mean to find a guy for the future.


Does Red Bull pay all the bills for their young guns? If I recall correctly Renault didn't - they demanded that their "students" to bring some money/sponsors. Wasn't a lack of these the main issue with Kubica?

Regarding RBR programme: certainly it is the most prominent driver's school in F1 nowadays. I don't have problems with them ditching the drivers - after all, it's the same with football schools, tennis schools, etc. However, I think they could make things a bit easier for their "pupils". Like: giving them a role of a Friday test driver for a year or two instead of throwing at deep water once a seat in STR is set free.


#42 Clatter

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:06

Does Red Bull pay all the bills for their young guns? If I recall correctly Renault didn't - they demanded that their "students" to bring some money/sponsors. Wasn't a lack of these the main issue with Kubica?

Regarding RBR programme: certainly it is the most prominent driver's school in F1 nowadays. I don't have problems with them ditching the drivers - after all, it's the same with football schools, tennis schools, etc. However, I think they could make things a bit easier for their "pupils". Like: giving them a role of a Friday test driver for a year or two instead of throwing at deep water once a seat in STR is set free.


So it's better to make things harder for the race drivers who are hardly experienced themselves?

#43 BuzzingHornet

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:17

I think Red Bull should be applauded for developing drivers and getting them to F1. The bottom line is that it is all about improving their brand but if you were a talented kid who had what it took and no money you'd get down on your knees and thank Red Bull if they came knocking :) They can take you all the way, up to a championship winning F1 car.

#44 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:32

Im surprised that 58% of people taking the poll think Red Bull are doing it for advertising purposes. If sponsoring F3 or World Series was so valuable, wouldnt lots of people have sponsorship? And do you really think it's a BETTER value than having a winning F1 team?



#45 Jackman

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:42

It is an advertising strategy, albeit a diffuse one: they stick their brand on loads of athletes of different types all round the world, and while individually they may not be justifiable, on an overall basis there is a lot of brand recognition, and at a "cool" level.

#46 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:49

For the average 'Red Bull athelete' I'd agree, but I think the racing drivers are firmly in acceptable-loss territory. The end end game is selling more cans, but the Red Bull Junior Team was all about finding the guy most likely to do that, once he could get to F1. So it was the elimination round, really. Otherwise it'd be more like their normal sports where they sponsor your hat/helmet.

#47 Jackman

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:59

Which is what they've done (and still do, to an extent) in motor racing, but now that they've got an F1 team that plan is kind of redundant. To be honest, they probably don't need to do junior category racing anymore: they can get the F1 drivers they want because they've got the top car, and they get enough publicity from being at the top (albeit in a Coke way now), so they wouldn't use FR3.5 or whatever on their inhouse videos anymore.

And frankly they lucked into Vettel after BMW did the heavy lifting, so I'm surprised they haven't just gone down that route again: it's not as though Buemi or Jani or Liuzzi have set the world on fire.

#48 KateLM

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:59

True, but he also had a disrupted season in Euro F3, lost a drive mid-year and obviously didn't have that much support within the team because he was dumped on a whim. I get what you're saying, but I still don't think they treated him well. And yea, I do think it's important to give reserve drivers seat time, and I think he should have got some if they realistically expected him to be a reserve driver. But that's just my opinion.

I'm not exactly a big fan of Red Bull's junior team, but dumped on a whim? I don't remember anyone NOT thinking that he was on borrowed time when he was kept on for 2010, even the guys on the Kiwi F1 driver thread were saying that it was his last chance. And I'm sure he knew it too. He was given a good car and a stable programme, and he came up short against Ricciardo. I'm sorry but he had is chance. He's not a bad driver of course, but in the past few years he hasn't really looked like a star.

Anyway, I'm not really a fan of the Red Bull young driver programme for other reasons. Their system of promoting drivers is only going to realistically work if there is a constant conveyor belt of drivers going through their F1 teams, but there isn't. So there is this backlog of young drivers (Ricciardo has been first in line for a couple of years now) with nowhere to go. I don't get what happens if Ricciardo gets into a Red Bull in a couple of years time and is great, but then Vergne is suddenly amazing in a Toro Rosso at the same time.

Also, I'm not hugely impressed with Marko's talent spotting skills either. Ok he found Vettel (like someone else wouldn't have sooner or later) and Ricciardo and Vergne look promising, but they are largely outnumbered by a heap of averageness - including Buemi and Alguersuari IMO. It also seems that image and nationality come into their decisions as well, and I'm not too sure if I agree with that.

As ATM_Andy said, its their money and they are giving some young drivers the chance to compete so its not like I have a massive issue with the driver programme or anything, I just don't think its that well thought out - it seems like they throw a wad of money at a whole bunch of drivers and hope they find one star in the midst. I just have a bit more respect for, say, the McLaren driver programme, which seems better structured to me.


#49 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:24

Which is what they've done (and still do, to an extent) in motor racing, but now that they've got an F1 team that plan is kind of redundant. To be honest, they probably don't need to do junior category racing anymore: they can get the F1 drivers they want because they've got the top car, and they get enough publicity from being at the top (albeit in a Coke way now), so they wouldn't use FR3.5 or whatever on their inhouse videos anymore.

And frankly they lucked into Vettel after BMW did the heavy lifting, so I'm surprised they haven't just gone down that route again: it's not as though Buemi or Jani or Liuzzi have set the world on fire.


He's always been Red Bull. If not back to his karting years, at least when he started out in single seaters. He was only loaned to BMW and only for maybe two seasons, one of which was truncated.

I think at the moment the Red Bull juniors are Ricciardo, Vergne, Carlos Sainz Jr, and someone else at that level. I don't know if theyre backing down because they have Vettel or the log jam at the top of Vettel, Buemi, Alguersuari, and Riccardio; or a combo of both.

#50 faaaz

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 13:18

How do you argue with a Driver's World championship and the Constructors championship? Sure there are others who missed out, but I think for Red bull it's driver programme is serving it's purpose. Vettel is a world champion and a prime example, perhaps Riccardo will get there...who knows. I think the purpose was to find a world champion out of a pool of 20 or so. We all know you can't have 20 world champions sitting next to each other in junior racing, not everyone gets there. It well for you guys to sit there and criticise the program, but think of it from the perspective of one of the young drivers who is getting a look in with a chance to fulfil their dream. Who are you to say the opportunity given is wrong?