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 F1 races full stop, has joked he has his "swimming shorts" ready for his dive into the deep end. But the 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.
Autosport magazine recently ran a cover feature on Red Bull's role in F1, and this included an interview with its motorsport advisor and junior programme chief Helmut Marko. Ex-F1 driver Marko is not the type to pull punches.