Members of the racing community are calling for Red Bull junior driver Enzo Deligny to be handed a racing ban and dropped from their set-up after shocking footage emerged from the final round of the Spanish F4 championship.
The young drivers were competing in the final race of the seventh round of the championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and Deligny was starting on the front row of the grid for the race.
Deligny quickly came under attack from Italian driver Valerio Rinicella after a poor launch off the line, leaving him vulnerable on the run down to the turn-one right-hander. In response, he shoved his rival onto the grass with an extremely aggressive defensive move before jolting back to the inside to cover off another threat.
This time it was champion-to-be Theophile Nael who found himself the victim of Deligny’s frustrations. The Spaniard was pushed onto the run-off area as the cars battled into turn two with his rival retaining the position.
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The stewards promptly issued Deligny with a drive-through penalty for his shameful defending, but the French driver never came in to serve it, leading to his disqualification on lap eight. However, this wasn’t the end of the controversy.
Instead, the 15-year-old ignored team orders and opted not to come into the pit lane during ensuing safety car restarts. Deligny took the chequered flag to finish the race, but of course, scored no points due to his disqualification.
Ignoring safety procedures and orders from the stewards is frowned upon with severity in the motorsport world, and similar unacceptable actions nearly put an end to former Red Bull junior driver Dan Ticktum’s career.
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These antics could possibly spell the end of Deligny’s time in the Red Bull junior team, although the organisation has yet to comment on the incident. The young French driver is one of many backed by the Milton Keynes-based outfit in the junior formulas.
They have now added F3 prospects Tim Tramnitz and Oliver Goethe to their ranks for the 2024 season, while Kacper Sztuka has also signed on. Pepe Marti will make his F2 debut with Red Bull backing next year as well, while Ayumu Iwasa is expected to make the switch to Super Formula in Japan.
Marko is overseeing a major restructuring of the junior programme with only one of the six drivers currently driving in F2 with Red Bull backing – Isack Hadjar – expected to remain there next season.
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