Nyck de Vries, former AlphaTauri Formula 1 driver, has expressed his disappointment and frustration with his ex-teams, taking a direct shot at Red Bull in particular.
In an interview with Italian media, de Vries discussed his unexpected departure from the Red Bull Racing sister team and criticized the decision-makers involved. He admitted that the news caught him completely off guard.
Marko explains the switch
Red Bull’s Motorsport Manager, Helmut Marko, has shed light on the reasons behind Nyck de Vries’ abrupt departure from AlphaTauri. While Daniel Ricciardo’s performance played a part in the decision, it was not the primary factor.
The transition from de Vries to Ricciardo happened swiftly, taking only a matter of hours to finalize. However, the Dutchman had been grappling with a crisis for some time, struggling to deliver satisfactory results and consistently lagging behind his teammate Yuki Tsunoda.
No improvement needed action
In an interview with ‘De Telegraaf’, Marko elaborated on the rationale behind the move. Despite two races remaining before the summer break, Marko felt compelled to take action due to the lack of progress.
“What is the point of two more races if there is no improvement? Nyck is a nice guy, but he didn’t have the speed,” Marko explained.
Even without Ricciardo’s impressive test performance, the change at AlphaTauri would have been deemed necessary. The Australian driver, alongside Tsunoda, now carries the responsibility of revitalizing the struggling Scuderia AlphaTauri.
Marko refrained from commenting on whether this move could lead to a potential challenge to Sergio Perez’s seat at Red Bull in the near future.
The focus now shifts to Ricciardo, who must prove himself against Tsunoda. Marko believes that the Japanese driver is being underestimated, highlighting the competitiveness within the team.
Brundle: Sympathy for de Vries
Martin Brundle expressed sympathy for the Dutchman, acknowledging his inclusion in the list of Red Bull drivers who have faced difficulties in their careers. Brundle recognized the challenges de Vries has encountered, particularly in dealing with a challenging car and competing against a more experienced teammate.
Brundle further noted the signs of desperation he observed in de Vries’ driving during recent races. Despite these struggles, Brundle firmly believes that de Vries possesses greater potential and talent than his recent performances may suggest.
“He’s not even had half a season, in what is quite clearly a difficult car – his team-mate’s a lot more experienced,” added the former Grand Prix driver.
“Has it gone well for Nyck? No. Quite clearly to me, desperation has crept into his driving in recent races, quite a lot of desperation.
“He’s got into some skirmishes he shouldn’t have been in, and it’s just been really sad to watch because I think he’s better than that.
“I feel sorry for him that he hasn’t had more time and more support.”
Ricciardo Red Bull bound?
Brundle then speculated that Ricciardo may have agreed to the AlphaTauri deal with the understanding that it could lead to future opportunities:
“Daniel has always talked about losing his mojo and needing to get his enthusiasm back, so I didn’t think he would take this unless there was another deal attached to it, a ‘you do this and then we’ll do that down the line’.”
de Vries hits back at Red Bull
Ex-Alpha Tauri driver Nyck de Vries has nothing positive to say about his former employers having become a pawn in this round of Red Bull musical chairs.
In an interview with Gazetta, the Dutchman commented on his sudden departure from the sister team of constructors’ champions Red Bull Racing, and took aim at the decision makers:
“In fact, it took me completely by surprise. I wasn’t expecting it,” the paper claims de Vries said immediately after his release.
He allegedly went on to reveal an explosive detail about his contract:
“I signed a multi-year contract and was promised the second Red Bull seat in 2025!”
“You stole Hamilton’s 8th title!”
The Dutchman is not surprised by this approach, however, and goes one step further by bringing in the ‘live artillery’ in the form of an H-Bomb comment.
“I’m disappointed but not surprised by the way you stole Lewis Hamilton’s eighth title!” Gazzetta claims,
De Vries is alluding to the 2021 title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, the latter in the final lap of the last race in Abu Dhabi due to a questionable safety car decision by then race director Michael Masi.
It is not yet known if Red Bull will comment on de Vries’ comments.