Horner explains why Red Bull axed Ticktum

Mark Scott
Christian Horner can't resist another dig at Renault

Christian Horner can't resist another dig at Renault

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, has said Dan Ticktum ultimately did not seize his opportunity within the junior programme.

Ticktum had officially been on the books at Red Bull since 2017 as he progressed up through the ranks of GP3, F3 and F2 following a two-year ban for overtaking under Safety Car conditions to purposely crash into a rival in MSA Formula.

The 20-year-old had been linked with a seat at Toro Rosso once he acquired enough points for a superlicence and was beginning to get his first taste of current Formula 1 machinery by testing for Red Bull in Bahrain and Spain.

However, on the eve of the Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, said that Ticktum had been dropped from the junior programme.

Horner elaborated on why that decision was made.

“It’s a scheme that is results based and he’s had a tough time in Japan and it wasn’t working out,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“He was a member of the junior team and it was decided that he wasn’t the right guy moving forward as an option for either us or Toro Rosso, therefore the sums were called.

“He was given the shot, he was given the opportunity. It’s up to these guys to grab that with both hands.”

All eyes now turn to new Red Bull junior recruit, Patricio O’Ward, who makes his F2 debut with MP Motorsport this weekend as he deputises for the banned Mahaveer Raghunathan.

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