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Red Bull: A question that has to be asked

NEWS STORY
09/05/2007

According to reports, although BMW has great ambitions for German youngster Sebastian Vettel, it is Red Bull which ultimately has the youngster under contract, claiming that it is merely "loaning" him to the Bavarian outfit.

Now we hear that the Milton Keynes-based outfit is eyeing BMW's Robert Kubica, with a view to putting the Pole into one of its cars, as it ponders the fact that there could be one, possibly two vacancies in the near future, with neither David Coulthard nor Mark Webber getting any younger.

When Red Bull brought its US-based Driver Search Programme to a sudden end, having clearly decided that it had discovered all the available American talent, the company began looking elsewhere, but has yet to launch a similar programme anywhere else in the world. Instead it appears to have been out there cherry picking the emerging talent.

Other than Formula One, one only has to check out GP2, Champ Car, A1 GP, World Series by Renault, Formula BMW and the F3 Euroseries and it isn't long before one spots a driver wearing the familiar logo on his overalls and helmet.

Therefore, one has to wonder just how many drivers are under some form of contract to the Austrian company, and then, having considered that, one has to wonder where all these drivers are ultimately going to fit.

It seems clear, both from previous comments, and the current situation with Kubica and Vettel that both Scott Speed and Tonio Liuzzi would do well to start worrying about their futures, especially with a whole host of upcoming talent already part of the Red Bull 'family'.

In the same way that an aspiring musician will be keen to sign on the dotted line for the first record company that shows an interest, one can sympathise with an up and coming driver who believes Red Bull offers the best career prospects. However, has Red Bull really served Liuzzi's best interests - a question that only the Italian can answer - and how many more drivers face the prospect of wasting their careers as a result of being wooed - in the short term - by the Austrian company's cheque book.

Such a monopoly of young talent ultimately only benefits one party, the company whose logo is to be seen almost every weekend in various motorsport disciplines. On the other hand, one has to wonder if, in the long term, the drivers are getting the very best from such a deal.

Only time will tell.

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