If either Ricciardo or Vergne, god willing, impress their Austrian bosses that they have it in them to make that final step up to Red Bull's senior team in 2013, an opening will develop at STR. I would like this thread to be a place where we can follow the potential candidates for such an opening.
The Favourites for that slot are...
Name: Luiz Felipe Nasr
Age: 19 (D/O/B:21/08/92)
In 2011: British F3 Champion
In 2012: (Formula Renault 3.5 Championship?)
After successfully following on the footsteps of his Red Bull backed predecessors in the British F3 championship - Alguarsuari, Ricciardo and Vergne - by winning the title in 2011, the next natural step for him seems like a race seat at STR when one of its current two drivers vacates a seat. But untill that he will have to probably race elsewhere. Will he follow Ricciardo and Vergne into Formula Renault 3.5; and if he does, could he clinch the title that eluded both his Red Bull backed predecessors there? Being the next in line for a seat at STR, a title could do no harm for his aspirations to progress into f1.
Name: Carlos Sainz jnr
Age: 17 (D/O/B:01/09/94)
In 2011: Formula Renault 2.0 Runner-up
In 2012: British F3 Championship entrant
There are rumblings that this enormously talented son of World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz, is the man who could, god willing, ultimately take the challenge to Vettel. But before that he will have to deal with the immense pressure of being Red Bull's 2012 driver at the British Formula 3 Championship - a championship in which Red Bull backed drivers have won for the last four years. But a stellar showing in it could see him leapfrog Nasr to
an STR seat when an opening does arise.
Name: Lewis Williamson
Age: 22 (D/O/B: 11/11/89)
In 2011: 8th in GP3 Championship
In 2012: Formula Renault 3.5 Championship entrant
Having been signed up into the Red Bull Development Program only this year, he has become the dark horse in the race to be STR's next race driver. But the fact that he has been signed up by Red Bull at an age when most other not-so-good drivers are dropped, probably indicates that he is held in high regard by his new bosses. With him set to compete at the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Championship, he could go head to head with Luiz Felipe Nasr in what could turn out to be a straight battle for a race seat at STR in 2013.
As pointed out by DanardiF1 and dank, Felipe Nasr is no longer a Red Bull backed driver. So that leaves Sainz jnr and Williamson as the favourites to take up any vacancy at STR.
But I hope we can follow their pursuits in the 2012 British F3 Championship and the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series respectively and discuss about their performances in this thread. Also we could keep an eye on Daniil Kvyat and any other driver that Red Bull signs up for its development program in the future.
Btw Apologies for my huge blunder.
Edited by gillesthegenius, 31 December 2011 - 19:35.