Sebastian Vettel is the star student of Red Bull's young driver programme. If the Helmut Marko-run scheme had a school building, the 2010 world champion's picture would take pride of place above the entrance, and every new recruit would be told: "That could be you."
But what about when it doesn't work out? Let's face it, the Red Bull programme has kicked more drivers to the kerb than it has propelled to Formula 1, but that's how it should be. Earning a place at the top table should be just that - earned, so it's natural that a scheme that has had a wide-ranging roster over the years has had to let a fair few drivers go.
Hartley was Toro Rosso's reserve driver in 2009 © LAT
The last name to be unceremoniously struck off by Marko's red pen was Brendon Hartley, who was given the chop in the middle of 2010 after struggling to match his rookie team-mate and fellow Red Bull junior Daniel Ricciardo over the first part of the Formula Renault 3.5 season.
At the time, the Kiwi had been attending grands prix as Toro Rosso's third driver, yet by the start of 2011 Ricciardo was driving for the Italian team on GP Fridays. And one year after Hartley was sent packing, Ricciardo made his debut in F1, having been placed at HRT by Red Bull for the rest of the season.
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