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The sudden demotion of Pierre Gasly has amplified the argument that Red Bull is too harsh on its junior drivers, but its perceived cruelty is actually better for Formula 1 as a whole.
Pierre Gasly's mid-season demotion to Toro Rosso, just 12 races into his time with Red Bull's main Formula 1 team and in a season when he was promised patience, has offered fresh ammunition for those who doubt Red Bull's methods.
Alex Albon, thrust into Gasly's vacant seat after just 12 races full stop, has joked he has his "swimming shorts" ready for his dive into the deep end. But the F1 rookie's rapid promotion and Gasly's treatment has triggered the usual suggestion that Red Bull's attitude towards young drivers is indefensibly cruel, and raised the wider question of whether its junior programme is really working.
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In defence of Red Bull's 'cruel' F1 driver scheme
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- Formula 1