Former F1 driver Scott Speed has found himself on the unemployment list once again, this time being dumped by Red Bull’s NASCAR team, only three years after being sacked by Red Bull’s sister F1 program when he raced for Scuderia Toro Rosso.
The Californian had just finished his second full season in the United States’ premier tin-top series, and has responded to the firing by filing a lawsuit with the North Carolina Supreme Court, seeking damages of $6.5 million for breach of contract.
Red Bull had earlier announced it had picked up the option on his services to continue their employment of him, but the outfit had clarified that certain performance clauses existed for him to meet in order to guarantee his future with the team.
At around the time of his signing, Speed had peaked as high as twelfth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, but by season’s end he had plummeted to 30th overall, achieving a best race finish of just 23rd in the final five rounds of the NASCAR championship season.
But his personality rubbed many up the wrong way – stripped of a points finish and fined $5000 by race stewards for abusive language after his debut race – and his performances were nothing to write home about in his first year.
Surprisingly, he was re-signed at the eleventh hour for the 2007 season, much of which was spent racking up DNFs with collisions and telling the press that he was being forced out of the team.
Another DNF earned at the wet European GP resulted in an alleged physical altercation with team boss Franz Tost in the pit paddock after the race, and he was duly sacked and replaced by Sebastian Vettel.
And we all now what happened from there…
[Original images via LAT]