It’s good to see this issue getting some more attention, from none other than Dieter Rencken. I’ve been saying this for years.
If the aim of the Junior programme is to develop F1 drivers such situations point to something seriously amiss with the selection process. In 20 years and over 350 grands prix, just three alumni – Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen – won grands prix. Of these only Ricciardo can be considered a fully ‘homegrown’ product of Red Bull’s system, the other two having been schooled elsewhere.
Dan Ticktum’s meltdown was seemingly brought about by the high-pressure environment of Red Bull’s driver programme. But this just the latest in a very long line of failures.
It’s easy to say this from the outside, but if I was a driver with some talent I would steer well clear of the Red Bull programme. The list of unnecessarily ruined careers is far, far longer than the successes.