Red Bull Junior Team

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The team logo
Sebastian Vettel in a Formula 3 Euro Series 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]

Driver Years Current Series Titles
France Pierre Gasly[1] 2014–15 GP2 Series Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
United Kingdom Callum Ilott[2] 2015 European Formula 3 Championship
Toyota Racing Series
n/a
United Kingdom Dean Stoneman[3] 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series FIA Formula Two Championship

Graduates to Red Bull Racing[edit]

Driver Junior Team Experience F1 Experience with Red Bull
Years Former Series Other Teams Red Bull Racing
Russia Daniil Kvyat 2010–13 Formula BMW Europe (2010)
Formula BMW Pacific (2010)
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (201012)
Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (2011)
Toyota Racing Series (2011)
Formula Renault 2.0 Alps (2012)
GP3 Series (2013)
European Formula Three Championship (2013)
Toro Rosso (2014) 2015
Australia Daniel Ricciardo 2008–11 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2008)
Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup (2008)
British Formula Three Championship (2009)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (200911)
HRT(2011)
Toro Rosso (2012-13)
2014-15
Germany Sebastian Vettel 1998–2007 Karting (1998–02)
Formula BMW ADAC (200304)
Formula 3 Euro Series (200506)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (200607)
BMW Sauber (2007)
Toro Rosso (2007)
2008-14
Austria Christian Klien  ????–2003 Formula 3 Euro Series (2003)
Formula Renault 2000 Germany (2002)
Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup (2002)
Jaguar (2004) 2005-06
Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi 2003–2004 International Formula 3000 (2003-04) Toro Rosso (2006-2007) 2005
  • Championship titles highlighted in bold.

Graduates to Toro Rosso[edit]

This list includes drivers who have graduated from the Junior Team to Toro Rosso but have not raced for Red Bull Racing. Former Red Bull Junior Team drivers who have driven for Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing appear on the Graduates to Red Bull Racing table.

Driver Junior Team Experience Toro Rosso
Years Former Series
Netherlands Max Verstappen 2014 European Formula Three Championship (2014) 2015
Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 2010–14 Formula BMW Europe (2010)
Formula BMW Pacific (2010)
European F3 Open (2010)
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (201011)
Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (2011)
Formula 3 Euro Series (201112)
British Formula Three Championship (2012)
GP3 Series (2013)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (201314)
2015
France Jean-Éric Vergne 2008–11 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (200809)
Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup (20082009)
British Formula Three Championship (2010)
GP3 Series (2010)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (201011)
2012-14
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 2007–08 Formula 3 Euro Series (2007)
GP2 Series (200708)
GP2 Asia Series (2008)
2009-11
Spain Jaime Alguersuari 2007–09 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2007)
Italian Formula Renault Championship (2007)
British Formula Three Championship (2008)
Spanish Formula Three Championship (2008)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2009)
2009-11
United States Scott Speed 2003–05 British Formula Three Championship (2003)
Formula Renault 2000 Germany (2004)
Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup (2004)
GP2 Series (2005)
A1 Grand Prix (2005)
2006-07
  • Championship titles highlighted in bold.

Former drivers[edit]

Driver Years Series competed
Thailand Alexander Albon 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2012)
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque 2007 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2007)
GP2 Series (2007)
Russia Mikhail Aleshin 2005–09 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2005)
Formula Renault 2.0 Germany (2005)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (200608)
GP2 Series (2007)
FIA Formula Two Championship (2009)
Germany Michael Ammermüller 2007 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2007)
GP2 Series (2007)
Brazil Pedro Bianchini 2007 Formula BMW ADAC (2007)
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist 2013 European Formula Three Championship (2013)
Italy Mirko Bortolotti 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship (2009)
India Karun Chandhok 2008 GP2 Series (2008)
GP2 Asia Series (2008)
Monaco Stefano Coletti 2007–08 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2007)
Italian Formula Renault Championship (2007)
Formula 3 Euro Series (2008)
France Tom Dillmann 2007–08 Formula 3 Euro Series (200708)
United States John Edwards 2007 Atlantic Championship (2007)
Portugal António Félix da Costa 2012–13 GP3 Series (2012)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (201213)
New Zealand Brendon Hartley 2007–10 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2007)
Italian Formula Renault Championship (2007)
British Formula Three Championship (2008)
Formula 3 Euro Series (200809)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (200910)
Switzerland Neel Jani 2007 Champ Car (2007)
Spain Daniel Juncadella 2008–09 Formula BMW Americas (2008)
Formula BMW Europe (200809)
United Kingdom Alex Lynn 2014 GP3 Series (2014)
Finland Mika Mäki 2007–09 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2007)
Italian Formula Renault Championship (2007)
Formula 3 Euro Series (200809)
Germany Kevin Mirocha 2007 Formula BMW ADAC (2007)
Canada Daniel Morad 2007 Formula BMW USA (2007)
United Kingdom Oliver Oakes 2007 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2007)
South Africa Callan O'Keeffe 2012–13 ADAC Formel Masters (201213)
Italy Edoardo Piscopo 2007 Formula 3 Euro Series (2007)
Republic of Ireland Niall Quinn 2006 Formula BMW UK (2006)
France Jean-Karl Vernay 2007–08 Formula 3 Euro Series (200708)
Netherlands Beitske Visser[4] 2013 ADAC Formel Masters (2013)
Germany Stefan Wackerbauer 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 (2012)
Formula Renault 2.0 Alps (2012)
Canada Robert Wickens 2007, 2009 Atlantic Championship (2007)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2007)
FIA Formula Two Championship (2009)
United Kingdom Lewis Williamson 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2012)
South Africa Adrian Zaugg 2007 GP2 Series (2007)
  • Championship titles highlighted in bold.

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".[5] 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,[6] 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.[7] Part of the reason it concluded is because Speed successfully made it to Formula One.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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 efficiency 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. In 2014, Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull Racing, the "senior" team, and replaced by Daniil Kvyat. For 2015, Kvyat will move on to Red Bull Racing, taking the seat left vacant by Vettel,[12] and he and Vergne (who followed Vettel to Ferrari) were replaced by Max Verstappen, who joined the Red Bull Junior Team in August, 2014, and Carlos Sainz Jr..


Formula 3000[edit]

  • D.C. = Drivers' Championship position, T.C. = Teams' Championship position.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clifford, Peter (18 December 2013). "Three Red Bull Juniors for 2014". Red Bull. Red Bull. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Red Bull Junior to Carlin for FIA F3". Carlin. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Hensby, Paul (12 February 2015). "Briton Stoneman joins Red Bull Stable". thecheckeredflag.co.uk (The Checkered Flag). Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Allen, Peter (27 March 2013). "Beitske Visser joins Red Bull Junior Team". paddockscout.com (Paddock Scout). Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.redbulldriversearch.com/assets/pdf/2002_RBDS2_%2007June.pdf
  6. ^ Red Bull Driver Search (official website), 2002 History. http://www.redbulldriversearch.com/history.php?view=2002
  7. ^ Red Bull Driver Search
  8. ^ Red Bull Racing Driver Search, Program Explanation, http://www.redbulldriversearch.com/program.php
  9. ^ BBC SPORT – Red Bull swoop for Minardi deal
  10. ^ "U.S. driver Scott Speed dropped by Toro Rosso, replaced by Sebastian Vettel". Associated Press. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/daniil-kvyat-selected-as-vettel-s-replacement-at-red-bull/
  13. ^ GP2 and Formula 3000 entry list and complete results speedsportmag.com

External links[edit]