Thursday, December 28, 2006

Scott Speed and Red Bull

Here’s to hoping that Scott Speed stays in Formula 1 because the maneuvers that Red Bull has been making with its primary and sister team operation are at times baffling. Well, at least they were baffling until I realized yet again the real economic incentives to finding a driver.

Obviously, a great way for drivers to get sponsorship money is to start winning, but when they’re not on a fantastic team, circumstances can be quite difficult, especially for an American whose native country loves Formula 1 as much as it loves Are You Being Served? So, the problem is that the Red Bull Racing / Scuderia Toro Rosso test/race driver Robert Doornbos has the personal financial/sponsorship backing that Gerhard Berger is seeking to keep the team in a worthy financial position, which might leave Scott Speed out of a racing seat.

It would be a true shame if this were to happen considering that Speed’s season in 2006 was not as bad as Scott Speed’s critics would have me believe. There are also many other implications as well. Liuzzi and Speed both came out of the Red Bull young driver program, but Red Bull’s primary team has no such driver lineup - instead they've gone with vertans David Coulthard and Mark Webber. So, if Liuzzi or Speed were to vacate their racing seat, the Red Bull young driver program would essentially be proven as unessential.

So, to have a Formula 1 team, you need to fund it, and I think by the beginning of the season we’ll find out how badly Scuderia Toro Rosso is in need of capital.
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