De Jong: I am also sure that Red Bull are looking at that

De Jong: "I am also sure that Red Bull are looking at that"

23-11-2020 09:06 Last update: 09:27

This weekend, Formula 1 will land on the Bahrain circuit. For the first time in two months, Formula 2 will be back on track as a support race. Those races are perhaps more interesting than the main act, because there is still a lot at stake.

In first place, of course, the title fight still has to be settled. Mick Schumacher has a 22-point lead over Callum Ilott. That is certainly not an unbridgeable buffer, but Daniël de Jong of MP Motorsport thinks that this lead will determine the strategy of both drivers.

“He [Schumacher] will try to stay out of the barriers and just try to get a reasonable result. Those others are going to take more risks, because are you going to settle for second place? Then everyone has already forgotten you after a month," De Jong told

Tsunoda is fighting for Super License

In addition to this fight for the title, there will also be a fight for third place. This will probably be a lot more intense and there is actually more at stake. Especially for Yuki Tsunoda, who must be at least fifth in the final standings of the championship to accumulate enough points for his Super License. Should that fail, the expected switch to F1 will be cancelled.

In the current position, Tsunoda is third with 147 points, Christian Lundgaard is on his heels with 145 points and Robert Shwartzman and Nikita Mazepin are not far behind with 140 points. So there is a real chance that Tsunoda will finish sixth and miss out on his F1 seat at AlphaTauri.

“That is going to be very interesting anyway,” says De Jong. “He really needs those points for that super license. He certainly can't sit back, so that's going to be super interesting to see how he handles that pressure. I am also sure that Red Bull are looking at that because that is simply very important for them to know whether a driver can handle that pressure. ”

The hard school of Red Bull

In recent years there has been some criticism of the junior program because they put their talents under enormous pressure at a very young age. It also regularly happens that Red Bull's support is suddenly withdrawn because a driver then does not meet the requirements. De Jong has mixed feelings about this method.

“Red Bull can be very tough for boys of fifteen or sixteen years old. And then you sometimes wonder whether it has to be so hard against a driver who even comes from a normal family and has been given that chance. Can't you get the most out of that person in a more relaxed way? ”

“On the other hand, there is also something to be said for it and it is not surprising that Red Bull are doing this. They just say "it costs us a lot of money to help such a driver, we put pressure on it right away to see if he can handle it. Instead of investing two or three years in someone who makes it to Formula 1 and then breaks it all at once. ”

Renault do it differently

Red Bull talents are thrown into the deep in that regard, while De Jong knows from Renault's junior program that things can also be done differently. They provide a lot of support, but at the same time more freedom to the driver to take a certain path.

“Red Bull also determines, for example, where that driver will drive, while Renault often leaves that choice to the driver himself. Also, I believe that Renault provides much more coaching with trainers, including physical training in training camps. In my opinion, they give a little more training in this. At Red Bull, they are looking for a fighter. Which they don't have to worry about and who can see for themselves what to do. ”

For Tsunoda, he just has to do his very best for the next two weeks and not make mistakes. Should it still go wrong, Helmut Marko has already informed him that he must return to Japan. There is probably a seat in the Super Formula waiting for him.

This article was originally published on the Dutch version of GPBlog, created by Pelle Gerritsen 

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