Marko slaps de Vries again

Nyck de Vries is “always three tenths slower” say Helmut Marko as he angrily slaps de Vries off the stage after being booted out of the Red Bull junior team, AlphaTauri.

Helmut Marko described Nyck de Vries’ sacking from AlphaTauri after just ten F1 races as a necessary cut – and gave the Dutchman a good slap in the face.


No improvement at all

“We had to do something,” the Red Bull eminence told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “Why should we wait and what difference does it make if you don’t see any improvement after two races? Nyck is a nice guy, but the speed just wasn’t there,”

Red Bull Junior Team AlphaTauri signed de Vries last year because of his strong performance at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, according to Marko.

The Dutchman stepped into Alex Albon’s Williams at the Royal Park at short notice and immediately finished ninth. However, in his first season as a regular Formula One driver, de Vries was a disappointment.

“We expected him to be on a par with his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda this year, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, he was always three tenths slower. We haven’t seen any progress….”


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Marko: “not a single super lap” from de Vries

At 28 years of age, De Vries is an experienced racer who has also gained a lot of knowledge in various Formula 1 tests, says Marko.

“In my eyes, you can’t compare him with a young rookie”. At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April, the Dutchman finally had a strong start to the weekend, the 80-year-old recalls:

“I thought he was doing better, but then he crashed again. Unfortunately he didn’t do a single super lap, which surprised us….”


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After the tyre tests at Silverstone, AlphaTauri had done its job and signed Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo to replace de Vries for the remainder of the season.

“If Ricciardo didn’t have the speed, we would have considered something else. But AlphaTauri is not in a good position and is last in the Constructors’ Championship, so we had to do something to make a change. This often happens after a driver change. Ricciardo brings new energy to the team,” Marko said.


READ MORE: De Vries, Red Bull’s scapegoat



Wait and see with Ricciardo

The Australian’s times in the Silverstone tests were “competitive” on three different types of tyres, according to the Austrian. For criticised Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, Ricciardo’s comeback is not a warning. “Checo is second in the Drivers’ Championship, it would not make sense to get rid of him,” said Marko.

As for Ricciardo, we will have to wait and see how he fares in his battle with Tsunoda.

“I think a lot of people underestimate Yuki. The AlphaTauri is not the easiest car to drive, but Yuki has shown that it is possible to get good results.”

READ MORE: Messages emerge around de Vries sacking




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