Red Bull Junior Team

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The team logo
Sebastian Vettel in a Formula Three Euroseries car in 2006, featuring prominent Red Bull sponsorship.
Michael Ammermuller racing in the World Series By Renault in 2007.

The Red Bull Junior Team is a driver development program run by the energy drink company Red Bull GmbH in an attempt to identify potential future racing stars in open wheel racing. The similar Red Bull Driver Search, now ended, was an American spinoff of the same idea. Members of the Junior Team are financed and sponsored by Red Bull in lower racing formulae.

The programs have been successful in bringing a selection of drivers into Formula One. Two of them, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, have won a Formula One race. Red Bull owns two teams in Formula One, Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.

The Red Bull Junior Team was also the official name of RSM Marko, a team that competed in International Formula 3000 between 1999 and 2003, sponsored by Red Bull and run by Helmut Marko.

The Red Bull Junior Team was formed in 2001 as Red Bull's European driver programme. Red Bull offers funding and support for the promising young drivers that are part of the programme. In 2004, Christian Klien became the first Red Bull Junior to race in Formula One, while in 2008, Sebastian Vettel became the first Red Bull Junior to win a Formula One Grand Prix, the Italian Grand Prix.

Current drivers[edit]

(Updated December 18, 2013, with 2014 season information[1])

Driver Years Current Series Titles
France Pierre Gasly 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. 2010–14 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Formula Renault 2.0 NEC
United Kingdom Alex Lynn 2014 GP3 Series Formula Renault UK

Former drivers[edit]

Former Red Bull Junior Team Drivers
Driver Years Future
Thailand Alexander Albon 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2013–14)
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (2013–14)
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque 2007 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2008)
International Superstars Series (2009–10)
Italian GT Championship (2009–11)
Blancpain Endurance Series (2011–12)
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (2012–13)
Rolex Sports Car Series (2013)
United SportsCar Championship (2014)
FIA World Endurance Championship (2014)
European Le Mans Series (2014)
Russia Mikhail Aleshin 2005–09 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2010, 2012–13)
German Formula Three (2011)
Blancpain Endurance Series (2013)
United SportsCar Championship (2014)
IndyCar Series (2014)
Spain Jaime Alguersuari 2007–09 Formula One (2010–11)
World Series Karting championship (2013)
ADAC GT Masters (2014)
FIA Formula E Championship (2014)
Germany Michael Ammermüller 2007 International Formula Master (2008)
A1 Grand Prix (2008–09)
FIA GT3 European Championship (2010)
ADAC GT Masters (2010–11)
Porsche Supercup (2012–14)
Porsche Carrera Cup Germany (2012, 2014)
Blancpain Endurance Series (2013)
Brazil Pedro Bianchini 2007 Formula BMW Europe (2008)
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (2008)
ADAC Formel Masters (2009)
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist 2013 FIA European Formula 3 Championship (2014)
Italy Mirko Bortolotti 2009 GP3 Series (2010)
FIA Formula Two Championship (2011)
ADAC GT Masters (2012)
Eurocup Mégane Trophy (2013)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe (2014)
Formula Acceleration 1 (2014)
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 2007–08 Formula One (2009–11)
FIA World Endurance Championship (2012-14)
FIA Formula E Championship (2014)
India Karun Chandhok 2008 GP2 Series (2009)
Formula One (2010–11)
FIA World Endurance Championship (2012–14)
FIA GT Series (2013)
European Le Mans Series (2014)
FIA Formula E Championship (2014)
Monaco Stefano Coletti 2007–08 Formula 3 Euro Series (2009)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2010)
GP2 Series (2011–14)
France Tom Dillmann 2007–08 Formula 3 Euro Series (2009)
German Formula Three (2010)
GP3 Series (2011)
GP2 Series (2012–14)
Porsche Carrera Cup France (2014)
United States John Edwards 2007 Star Mazda Championship (2008)
Atlantic Championship (2009)
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (2010–14)
Rolex Sports Car Series (2013)
American Le Mans Series (2013)
United SportsCar Championship (2014)
Portugal António Félix da Costa 2012–13 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (2014)
FIA Formula E Championship (2014)
New Zealand Brendon Hartley 2007–10 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2011)
GP2 Series (2012)
FIA World Endurance Championship (2012–14)
Rolex Sports Car Series (2013)
European Le Mans Series (2013)
United SportsCar Championship (2014)
Switzerland Neel Jani 2007 A1 Grand Prix (2008–09)
Le Mans Series (2009–11)
FIA GT1 World Championship (2010)
Superleague Formula (2010–11)
American Le Mans Series (2011–13)
FIA World Endurance Championship (2012–14)
Spain Daniel Juncadella 2008–09 Formula 3 Euro Series (2010–12)
FIA European Formula 3 Championship (2012)
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (2013–14)
Russia Daniil Kvyat 2010–13 Formula One (2014)
Finland Mika Mäki 2007–09 Formula 3 Euro Series (2010)
Germany Kevin Mirocha 2007 German Formula Three (2008)
Formula 3 Euro Series (2009)
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (2010)
GP2 Series (2011)
FIA Formula Two Championship (2012)
Canada Daniel Morad 2007 Atlantic Championship (2008)
A1 Grand Prix (2008–09)
GP3 Series (2010–11)
Firestone Indy Lights (2011)
United Kingdom Oliver Oakes 2007 Formula 3 Euro Series (2008)
British Formula Three Championship (2009)
GP3 Series (2010)
South Africa Callan O'Keeffe 2012–13 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2014)
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (2014)
Italy Edoardo Piscopo 2007 Italian Formula Three (2008)
FIA Formula Two Championship (2009)
Auto GP (2010)
Blancpain Endurance Series (2011)
Porsche Carrera Cup Italy (2012)
International Superstars Series (2013)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe (2014)
Republic of Ireland Niall Quinn 2006 Formula BMW ADAC (2007)
Asian Formula Three Championship (2007–08)
German Formula Three Championship (2008)
British Formula Three Championship (2008)
Formula Palmer Audi (2008)
A1 Grand Prix (2009)
Firestone Indy Lights (2010)
Euro Racecar NASCAR Touring Series (2012)
Australia Daniel Ricciardo 2008–11 Formula One (2012–14)
France Jean-Éric Vergne 2008–11 Formula One (2012–14)
France Jean-Karl Vernay 2007–08 Formula 3 Euro Series (2009)
Firestone Indy Lights (2010)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2011)
Porsche Carrera Cup France (2012)
FIA World Endurance Championship (2012–13)
Porsche Supercup (2013)
European Le Mans Series (2013)
Super GT (2014)
Germany Sebastian Vettel 2007 Formula One (2008–14)
Netherlands Beitske Visser[2] 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2014)
GP3 Series (2014)
Germany Stefan Wackerbauer 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2013)
ADAC GT Masters (2014)
Canada Robert Wickens 2007, 2009 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2008, 2011)
GP3 Series (2010)
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (2012–14)
United Kingdom Lewis Williamson 2012 GP3 Series (2012–13)
South Africa Adrian Zaugg 2007 GP2 Series (2008–11)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe (2012–14)
Italian GT Championship (2013)

Graduated to Formula One[edit]

Driver Years Team/s
Brazil Enrique Bernoldi 2001–02 Arrows
Austria Christian Klien 2004–06, 2010 Jaguar, Red Bull, HRT
India Narain Karthikeyan 2005, 2011–12 Jordan, HRT
Austria Patrick Friesacher 2005 Minardi
Netherlands Robert Doornbos 2005–06 Minardi, Red Bull
Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi 2005–07, 2009–11 Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Force India, HRT
United States Scott Speed 2006–07 Toro Rosso
Germany Sebastian Vettel 2007–14 BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso, Red Bull
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 2008–11 Toro Rosso
Spain Jaime Alguersuari 2009–11 Toro Rosso
India Karun Chandhok 2010–11 HRT, Lotus
Australia Daniel Ricciardo 2011–14 HRT, Toro Rosso, Red Bull
France Jean-Éric Vergne 2012–14 Toro Rosso
Russia Daniil Kvyat 2014 Toro Rosso
  • Bold drivers still race in Formula One

Graduates rundown[edit]

The scheme has been successful, with several of the drivers backed by Red Bull making it into Formula One:

As well as these, Red Bull supports many up-and-coming young drivers:

In 2004 Red Bull bought Jaguar Racing and renamed the team Red Bull Racing for the 2005 Formula One season. This offered an easy way in to Formula One for Red Bull Junior Team's drivers.

Red Bull Driver Search[edit]

Red Bull Driver Search was an American scheme run from 2002 to 2005 in parallel with the Red Bull Junior Team. Its aim was "Searching for the future American F1 Champion".[3] Another goal was to create "the first ever All-American Formula 1 team."

There has been one clear star of Red Bull Driver Search: Scott Speed. After being one of four winners of the 2002 Red Bull Driver Search,[4] Speed went on to compete in British Formula 3, before winning the German and Eurocup Formula Renault Championships. In 2005, Speed impressed onlookers with his performances in the GP2 Series and, after a short stint in A1 Grand Prix for A1 Team USA, Speed drove for Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula One in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Red Bull Driver Search formally concluded on 17 October 2005.[5] Part of the reason it concluded is because Speed successfully made it to Formula One.[6]

A victim of its own success?[edit]

Many talented drivers have risen through the ranks of Red Bull's driver programmes — so many, in fact, that Red Bull did not have the space to bring all of their best drivers into Formula One. In the 2005 Formula One season the second Red Bull Racing seat was shared between Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi, with the drivers swapping between races. To further complicate matters, Scott Speed was vying for a place in Formula One but had to make do with being a non-racing third driver.

To solve this problem, in late 2005, Red Bull purchased the Minardi team to help promote more of its drivers into Formula One.[7] Red Bull described the new outfit as a "Rookie Team", and renamed it as Scuderia Toro Rosso, Italian simply for "Team Red Bull". Liuzzi and Speed drove the cars for the 2006 and 2007 Formula One seasons. Sebastian Vettel replaced Speed permanently at Toro Rosso 3/4ths of the way through the 2007 season.[8] Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais were the drivers for Toro Rosso in 2008. The team scored its first victory at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, with Vettel never leaving the first position during the race.

In 2009, Vettel moved from Toro Rosso to Red Bull's main team.[9] He was succeeded at Scuderia Toro Rosso by Swiss driver Sebastian Buemi, also part of the Red Bull Junior Team.

Midway through 2009, the underperforming Bourdais was replaced by Jaime Alguersuari, another product of the Red Bull Junior Team, and his partnership with Buemi remained intact until the end of 2011.

This officiency of drivers and the lack of F1 capacity was again shown during the 2011 season when Red Bull essentially rented a seat at back markers Hispania Racing for their Australian junior and 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 season runner up Daniel Ricciardo for the last 11 races of the season.

Buemi and Alguersuari both were replaced at Toro Rosso for the 2012 Formula One season by Ricciardo and 2011 Formula Renault season runner up Jean-Eric Vergne, the duo have both retained their seat for the 2013 season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clifford, Peter (December 18, 2013). "Three Red Bull Juniors for 2014". Red Bull. Red Bull. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Allen, Peter (27 March 2013). "Beitske Visser joins Red Bull Junior Team". paddockscout.com (Paddock Scout). Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.redbulldriversearch.com/assets/pdf/2002_RBDS2_%2007June.pdf
  4. ^ Red Bull Driver Search (official website), 2002 History. http://www.redbulldriversearch.com/history.php?view=2002
  5. ^ Red Bull Driver Search
  6. ^ Red Bull Racing Driver Search, Program Explanation, http://www.redbulldriversearch.com/program.php
  7. ^ BBC SPORT – Red Bull swoop for Minardi deal
  8. ^ "U.S. driver Scott Speed dropped by Toro Rosso, replaced by Sebastian Vettel". Associated Press. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  9. ^ 18 July 2008, Formula1.com (Official Formula One series website), "Exclusive interview – Red Bull-bound Sebastian Vettel" http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2008/7/8102.html

External links[edit]