Red Bull junior academy set for big shake-up with three drivers at risk

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen aerial Red Bull. Azerbaijan April 2023

Max Verstappen aerial Red Bull. Azerbaijan April 2023

Enzo Fittipaldi and Zane Maloney will both lose their place in Red Bull’s F1 junior scheme at the end of 2023 as part of a major overhaul to the academy, it has emerged.

The Carlin F2 team-mates are set to be replaced by two 18-year-olds: Spanish rising star Pepe Marti, currently competing in F3, and Germany’s Tim Tramnitz, according to a report by Spanish publication SoyMotor.

Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time F1 World Champion Emerson, and Maloney only joined the celebrated Red Bull Junior Team in late 2022 but have failed to impress sufficiently in F2 this season.

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While Fittipaldi sits seventh ahead of the final round of 2023 in Abu Dhabi next month, having claimed only one victory in the Spa sprint race, Maloney sits 20 points back in 10th having failed to finish higher than second.

Maloney, of Barbados, tested with the Andretti Formula E team earlier this year with a view to pursuing a career in the all-electric series, but the 20-year-old may yet be persuaded to spend another year in F2 albeit without Red Bull’s backing.

Red Bull’s cull may not stop there with Dennis Hauger, the 20-year-old Norwegian, also at risk having won just four times in almost two full seasons in F2.

David Dicker, chief executive of Rodin Cars, which bought a majority stake in Carlin earlier this year, revealed recently that both Fittipaldi and Maloney are set to be dropped by Red Bull.

He told the Mirror: “The support for most of the guys in these junior teams is next to zero, from the information that I have.

“They’re not going to be supported by Red Bull next year, as far as I know. Let’s face it, [Red Bull] already have more good drivers than seats, so what’s the point of trying?”

The departures of Fittipaldi and Maloney is likely to open up spaces for Marti and Tramnitz, who are regarded as having more long-term potential than both incumbents. recommends

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Marti, born in June 2005, has impressed in his first season in F3 with Campos this year, winning on his debut in the series in Bahrain before adding two further victories in Monaco and Barcelona.

The Barcelona-born youngster was unable to sustain his promising early form and was involved in a bizarre incident during the Spa sprint race, where in rejoining the track after a spin at Pouhon he was hit at speed by another driver, causing severe damage to the left-front section of his car.

He ultimately finished fifth in the standings, 59 points adrift of Championship winner Gabriel Bortoleto, but is still expected to move into F2 next season.

Tramnitz, born in November 2004, currently sits third in the Formula Regional European Championship with one round remaining and is expected to progress to F3 next year.

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