Alex Lynn likens battle for Toro Rosso seat to lions fighting over their prey
New GP3 Champion also admits frustration at Verstappen's rapid promotion
By William Esler
Last Updated: 24/11/14 3:21pm
Newly-crowned GP3 Champion Alex Lynn has likened the battle for the vacant Toro Rosso seat to lions fighting over their prey in the wild.
Daniil Kvyat’s promotion to the senior Red Bull team following Sebastian Vettel’s exit to Ferrari has created a vacancy alongside Max Verstappen with the originally ousted Jean-Eric Vergne in contention along with juniors Lynn, Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly.
Like Lynn, Sainz won his championship this season and the Briton says delivering success for Red Bull is all that matters to the company's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.
“I am a very small wheel in a massive cog of Formula 1, but it is getting bigger and a few people are starting to say my name a bit more,” Lynn told Sky Sports F1.
“Helmut appreciates what I have done and he appreciates my talent, but there are so many other factors.
“As a guy all he cares about is results – he doesn’t care where you are from, doesn’t care what your background is, if you win for him that is everything.
“For people like me and Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly on the Red Bull Junior programme I would compare it to like having a dead deer in the Amazon and you have a pack of lions ravishing at it. You have a spare Toro Rosso seat and everyone is just fighting like a dog to get it. It is tough I will tell you.”
Lynn joined the Red Bull Junior Team after bolding telling Marko that he was going to win the prestigious Macau GP F3 race last year, but admits he can’t just go and demand an F1 drive.
“There is nothing more I can say now, I’ve won the championship and 12 months ago I sat down in his office in Austria and he said ‘if you win this we will look after you and you will get there,'" Lynn explained.
“I’ve sat there and I’ve won it and I said to him ‘I’ve won it for you, what’s the score? What have I got to do?’ He said ‘it is all difficult, we’ll see, we’ll see, I’ll tell you in Abu Dhabi’.”
Whilst both Lynn and Sainz have progressed through the traditional junior formulae, both have been leapfrogged by Verstappen who has gone from karting to F1 in less than 12 months via a season in F3. And that is something which frustrates the 21-year-old.
“I think the Max Verstappen thing has maybe turned the single-seater ranks on its head, he added.
“Certainly within the Red Bull Junior Team it made a big impact, but actually within motorsport itself it has changed dynamics and you have a lot of kids wanting to go from karting for Formula 3 now and it is a big jump.
“Certainly from where I am I have a lot of experience, well not a lot, but a good amount of experience and a lot of wins and a lot of championships. It is tough to take I cannot deny.”
Lynn faces an uphill battle to secure an F1 seat with Sainz seemingly the preferred candidate after it was revealed the Spaniard would share Red Bull driving duties with Daniel Ricciardo at next week’s two-day test.