by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 146
Rumours of a Lewis Hamilton move to Red Bull have once again been quashed by team principal Christian Horner, who asserts that his team is dedicated to bringing young talent through the ranks. Some of that talent would beg to differ. “I think that it's difficult to envisage Lewis in our team,” Horner said when the Hamilton rumours re-emerged at the start of the season. “I think he's comfortable in the environment he is in and we're certainly comfortable with the two drivers we have. “We also took a decision to invest in youth and we have two really exciting youngsters entering GP racing in Jean- Eric [Vergne] and Daniel [Ricciardo] – both really talented drivers, and both deser ve that opportunity. It will be fascinating to see how they evolve over the year. So we're more likely to look inwardly than outwardly. “Our preference would probably be to go with drivers in whom we have invested from a young age, give them the opportunity and see how they evolve rather than take something external.” While Red Bull have a tradition of supporting drivers from an early age, they have also established themselves as a team willing to drop young drivers from their talent roster without much warning. Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed were early victims of the Red Bull Young Driver treadmill, but at least both men made it to F1, however briefly. New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley was dropped by Red Bull without warning in the summer of 2010, as he had failed to impress with his results in that year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship. Most recently, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi lost their race seats at Toro Rosso at the end of 2011; both drivers were dismissed by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko as not being worthy of the team’s talent programme. “Toro Rosso was created to give young drivers a chance,” Marko said at the time. “Alguersuari and Buemi had it for three years and after this time it's possible to evaluate a driver's development. We haven't seen in them any possibility of growth. Both are worthy of grand prix racing, but for us that's not enough: we need winners.” But both drivers were dismissed at a point in the off-season when it was too late to score a drive with a different team. Alguersuari was highly critical of the timing, saying he had turned down offers from rival teams because he had been assured by Marko that his Toro Rosso seat was safe. So far, only Sebastian Vettel has made a success of his years in the Red Bull Junior Team. But the benchmark set by Vettel has made it very hard for young talent to measure up to the double champion’s standard. Ricciardo and Vergne are currently racing in F1 thanks to the programme, but both drivers are under pressure to perform lest they suffer the same fate as Alguersuari and Buemi before them. NO HAMILTON AT RED BULL SAYS HORNER BRIEFLY » While it has long been rumoured that Valtteri Bottas will be making the jump to race driver for Williams in 2013, it is now looking almost certain that the Finn will replace Bruno Senna. The Brazilian signed a one-year contract with Williams for 2012, and it emerged this weekend that the 15 FP1 sessions Bottas will be taking part in this season will all see the Finn driving Senna’s car. » The silly season got off to a much earlier start than usual this year, thanks to Ferrari’s struggles in Melbourne. With many predicting that heads were soon to roll at the Scuderia, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was called upon to deny rumours that he would be moving to Maranello. “Ferrari is a great team but my future is absolutely committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future,” Horner said. “You can see what the appeal is at Ferrari but you can also see the pitfalls and my commitment is to Red Bull. Dietrich Materschitz gave me the chance as a 31-year-old to step into Formula One and entrusted me to build a team for him. I have a multi- year commitment.” » Sepang might feel like the hottest place on earth, but the paddock was hotter than usual at 3am on Saturday morning, when the Lotus hospitality suite caught fire. Luckily, no one was injured in the blaze. The team lost laptops and marketing materials, but the race suits were rescued by a local security guard. The fire came about when a fuse blew in one of the refrigerators, and quickly spread. The silver lining? Lotus felt the benefit of the F1 community spirit. “The team would like to thank our counterparts from up and down the paddock, who have been incredibly supportive” a Lotus statement read. We want 'home-grown' talent 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS