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“Horrible Decision”: Red Bull’s Authoritarian Control Damages Mick Schumacher’s F1 Career as Arresting Information Grabs Limelight to Leave Fans Furious

Published 06/09/2023, 3:15 PM EDT

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Red Bull’s second seat is notorious for being “cursed”. No driver has lasted long enough to settle into the team after Daniel Ricciardo’s shock departure after the 2018 season. But Red Bull also has a sister team, AlphaTauri. And while they’re both supposedly “independent” teams, the Red Bull administration still has considerable control over AlphaTauri. And this control might have just ruined Mick Schumacher’s career in F1.

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AlphaTauri, formerly called Toro Rosso, is Red Bull’s B-team. This meant it brought junior drivers into the team to test their skill and talent and see if they could be potential Red Bull drivers. Red Bull Racing advisor and head of driver development, Helmut Marko, has almost total control over who drove there. And it looks like he still does.

via Reuters

When Pierre Gasly decided to leave the Red Bull family and his seat at AlphaTauri to join Alpine, that left a vacant seat alongside Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda. At the time, AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost recommended Mick Schumacher fill that seat. But according to Ralf Schumacher, as quoted by, “Then came Dr. Helmut Marko, who didn’t want it for personal reasons or whatever, and decided on Nyck de Vries.”


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In a later interview, reacting to what Ralf Schumacher said, Marko commented that he has no problems with Schumacher’s name. “Mick Schumacher was under the wing of Ferrari in their junior program from the beginning of his career and was, therefore, outside our orbit. AlphaTauri is still a team for juniors.” But doesn’t this contradict the fact that Nyck de Vries—who was affiliated with Mercedes and is definitely not a junior—is currently occupying that second seat at AlphaTauri? 

Needless to say, fans couldn’t stop criticizing Red Bull for its authoritarian actions.

Fans react to Red Bull’s decision to choose Nyck de Vries over Mick Schumacher

Many fans took to Twitter to express their apprehension toward Red Bull’s decision that outright contradicts Helmut Marko’s statement. To most of them, it made no sense that it only has a junior program to hand the seat to someone outside the family. 

“Yuki Is OK, but..”: Fans Left Divided on Tsunoda’s Potential as Insider Information Points Toward Red Bull’s Plan for Japanese Prodigy

One fan said: “horrible decision.”


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Another wrote: “This decision from redbull aged very badly,” referring to de Vries’ highly underwhelming performances this season.

Many fans criticized not only Red Bull but also de Vries’, many stating that he doesn’t deserve a seat in F1.

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One fan even targeted Helmut Marko and his claim that he has nothing against the Schumacher name.


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Watch This Story: Helmut Marko blasts Lewis Hamilton for role in Michael Masi sacking

Will AlphaTauri ever be truly independent, or will Red Bull exercise control over its workings at every stage of its time in F1?



Aditi Krishnan

523 articles

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.

Edited By: Varunkumaar Chelladurai