When Daniel Ricciardo suddenly jumped ship to Renault from Red Bull, the team were caught off guard. So, they had to scramble and shoe-horned in Pierre Gasly to take his place.

Gasly’s departure left Toro Rosso in a fix, as Brendon Hartley was let go following a poor 2018 campaign. The Kiwi driver joined Toro Rosso after leaving the Red Bull junior programme.

For the current season, the Toro Rosso team have recalled former driver Daniil Kvyat. Joining him is Thai driver, Alexander Albon, as the team had no other options left. As of now, Daniel Ticktum is primed to be the next Red Bull star, but sadly lacks the required superlicense points.

But is there a crisis in the Red Bull junior driver programme? Toro Rosso team principal, Franz Tost does not think so. Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said, “No, it is nonsense that the Red Bull Young Driver Programme is in crisis.”

Red Bull
Red Bull

“Dr Helmut Marko does a fantastic job and we have good drivers. There would only be a crisis if we had no drivers from our programme at Red Bull and Toro Rosso.”

He continued, “But we have Max, who can win races and hopefully also the championship; the talented and fast Pierre and two fantastic riders at Toro Rosso.

“It is not the environment that determines who is successful and who is not, they do it themselves.

“Their performance is the deciding factor and we can be honest about that. We say: ‘If you do not perform well enough, you are out.'”

On one hand, Kvyat’s recall seems like a move born out of desperation, Albon’s nomination has raised plenty of eyebrows. But Tost has vehemently defended his drivers from the critics and backed them to improve.

He concluded, “If they continue to develop and become more mature, if they show that they can do better, then they can just come back. That’s no problem.”

Red Bull
Ticktum awaits a key role at Red Bull (Sportskeeda)