Red Bull ousts young driver after only four races

Red Bull ousts young driver after only four races

Red Bull has axed junior driver Kacper Sztuka from its programme just after seven months and four rounds in the FIA F3.

Red Bull’s junior program has once again proved to be a tenacious environment where underperformance can swiftly derail a promising career, as young Polish driver Kacper Sztuka has been shown the door.

Sztuka, who hopes to emulate his famous countryman Robert Kubica, was hailed as a rising star and after winning the 2023 Italian Formula 4 Championship was offered a seat at MP Motorsport in the FIA Formula 3 Championship as well as immediate enrollment in Red Bull’s junior program.

However, the 18-year-old’s debut in FIA F3 has seen him struggle after only securing one points-scoring finish in the Imola sprint race, where he finished in fifth place for six points and currently ranks P19 in the drivers’ standings.

There is no denying the advantages of having access to top-notch equipment and financial support being a young Red Bull driver but it also comes with its drawbacks. As the spotlight burns brightly, there is lots of pressure to perform, and failing to deliver prompts swift action, leaving zero chance for further development.

Therefore, Red Bull decided to oust the young driver.

“I wanted to share with you information about my development and further performances in Formula 3 this season,” Sztuka shared on social media.

“In recent weeks, the contract with Red Bull’s junior program was terminated at the initiative of the partner.

“Until the end of the cooperation, my starts, functioning in the team and the progress I made were positively assessed by all people working directly with me.

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“Thank you very much to everyone who has been involved in the project that I have been a part of since November 2023.”

He also confirmed that he would be continuing with MP Motorsport when the FIA F3 season resumes this weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix, affirming his departure from the Red Bull junior programme won’t have any bearing on his season.

“The above decision does not affect the assessment of the MP Motorsport team and our starting plans,” Sztuka added.

“In the 2024 season, thanks to the support of my sponsors, I intend to compete in all remaining rounds of the FIA ​​Formula 3 Championship and continue to develop as a driver both on and off the track.

“My determination to be the fastest, win and one day race against the best drivers in the world remains unchanged. Thank you for all your words of support. We are entering the final stage of preparations for the race in Barcelona.

“See you on the track!”

The case of Sztuka is a sobering reminder of the F1 feeder series brutality. A single error, whether on or off the track, might spell the difference between a bright future and a career cut short before it ever got started.

Although Kacper is still entitled to race in F3, the Red Bull dream is far gone, and in its place is the harsh reality that he will have to reinvent himself.

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