Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed that Dan Ticktum was dropped from their junior driver programme simply due to his results, which were not good enough in the eyes of team management.
“It’s a scheme that is results-based and he’s had a tough time in Japan and it wasn’t working out,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.
“He was a member of the junior team and it was decided that he wasn’t the right guy moving forward as an option for either us or Toro Rosso, therefore the sums were called.
“He was given the shot, he was given the opportunity. It’s up to these guys to grab that with both hands.”
Ticktum was signed to the Red Bull stable in 2017, having returned from a racing ban the previous year.
He dominated the early going in last year's F3 championship, but a stunning mid-season surge from Schumacher and his Prema team secured the title for the German.
In the background to their title battle also came a potential fight for an F1 seat, with Ticktum linked to Toro Rosso if he could win the title, which would have also secured him enough superlicence points to race in F1.
Marko was a regular backer of Ticktum in public, but the Austrian confirmed to Speedweek that he had been let go amid a poor start to Japan's open-wheel championship.
Perhaps also pushing Red Bull to their decision is a string of controversial comments made by Ticktum, who made accusations regarding Schumacher and Prema's improvements in last year's F3 championship, before expletive-laden reactions to a frustrating run in the Asian Winter Series, where he once again failed to muster the results to hit 40 points on his superlicence.
He was handed testing opportunities with Red Bull this season, but the team have now moved on and it is unclear where Ticktum will go next.
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