Robert Wickens has played down Red Bull's reputation for being too ruthless with drivers in its Junior scheme, as he exerts himself as one of the programme's leading lights.
Victory at the Silverstone round of the World Series by Renault has gone a long way to justifying Red Bull's faith in the Canadian driver, who has caused plenty of raised eyebrows in what is his first full season of European racing.
However, in the week that Tom Dillmann becomes the second driver this year to lose his place in the driver training programme, Wickens insists that the dropping of drivers is necessary if they aren't achieving the right results.
“Every team in motorsport is cut throat,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “If you don't get the results, there will be consequences. It doesn't matter if you are with the Red Bull Junior Team, it is all the same type of format.
“For whichever reason, Red Bull has this reputation of having a really strict development programme, but in my opinion, I love it and I can't picture me being anywhere else. I am so grateful to Red Bull for what they have done for my career, so I guess I am living in the moment.”
Indeed, Wickens' role in the programme has been further exacerbated after being drafted in to replace Stefano Coletti in the Formula 3 Euroseries, another driver to be let go from the Red Bull scheme this season.
To run alongside his World Series programme, it comes in a twelve month period that has seen Wickens race in Champ Car Atlantics and A1 Grand Prix too. However, despite the prospect of switching between two very different machines almost every weekend, Wickens is thrilled to be getting seat time.
“You can't complain with seat time. All I can say is thanks to Red Bull for giving me the opportunity to put my foot in as many doors as possible. It has been a very busy year for me but I think I can handle it and I can get some solid results in all championships.”