U.S. driver Scott Speed makes his official exit from F1

Scott Speed's climb through the Red Bull Young Driver's Program was a great deal more promising -- and lengthy -- than his actual Formula 1 career. As of today, the 24-year-old Californian has been replaced in his Scuderia Toro Rosso seat by former BMW test driver Sebastian Vettel. Vettel, a 20-year-old German, is highly regarded by STR half-owner Gerhard Berger, and will race in this week's Hungarian GP.

Speed's tenure has been a forgettable year-and-a-half of no results and more than a few skirmishes and crashes -- not all of which are entirely Speed's fault. Even the Red Bull cars, piloted by the much more experienced Mark Weber and David Coulthard, haven't shown too much life. The drama has been stoked by the STR team owners', Berger and Franz Tost, increasingly acidic and public comments about how displeased they are with the STR driver lineup. Things reached a nadir when, after Speed's exit from the European Grand Prix, he was physically assaulted by Tost.

Speed says he doesn't want to want to ruin his relationship with parent team Red Bull, and would work with them even if not in Formula 1 -- but he wouldn't race for STR again for any amount of money. As for the premiere motorsport category, with Speed's ouster, the record of American drivers in F1 remains, uh, nothing short of dismal.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

[Source: Daily F1]

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