When Red Bull bought the struggling Jaguar team ahead of the 2005 Formula 1 season, many fans couldn't process the idea of a drinks company running a F1 team. However, since then Red Bull - and their junior team, Toro Rosso - have become a crucial part of the grid, making up 20% of the available seats. Their driver academy is the envy of the paddock, with six drivers (over a quarter) on the grid today that came through the Red Bull Driver Search, as it's officially known. There's also plenty of talent coming through the pipeline too, with the likes of Dan Ticktum tipped for an F1 seat in the near future. With that being said, here's the five best drivers to have come through the Red Bull Junior programme.
#5 - Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly may only have one full season of Formula 1 racing under his belt, but the young Frenchman has already thrilled us with some standout performances. Gasly joined Toro Rosso mid-way through 2017, as replacement for Carlos Sainz, after the latter joined Renault. The STR12 wasn't the best car, and Gasly had to wait until 2018 for his first points finish, but it was well worth the wait. A stunning drive to fourth place in Bahrain remains his best finish in F1 to date and was the first of a series of impressive results last season.
Pierre comfortably beat the far more experienced and WEC-winning Brendon Hartley throughout the season, showing that he's one of Grand Prix's biggest prospects for the future. A move to Red Bull to replace Daniel Ricciardo for 2019 hasn't paid off yet, but there's 19 races remaining this season, so he's got plenty of time to impress. Although, if he doesn't perform soon, Gasly could suffer a similar fate to Daniil Kvyat.