F1: Nyck de Vries says losing seat at Alpha Tauri ‘hurts’ as Daniel Ricciardo wishes him ‘the best’
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Nyck de Vries has said that losing his seat at Alpha Tauri “hurts”. It comes as the driver was axed from the team just 10 races into his Formula 1 career after a disappointing start to the season.
The 28-year-old Dutch driver was dropped from the Red Bull junior team just two days after the British Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo announced as his replacement. The Australian driver, 34, will replace the previous driver from this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix and will take the seat for the rest of the 2023 season.
De Vries said: “Of course it hurts that the F1 chance I dreamed of for so long ended prematurely. But life is not a destination, it’s a journey. Sometimes you have to take the hard road to get to where you want to.”
The Dutch driver is a former champion of the all-electric Formula E series and Formula 2 champion but struggled to gain traction in the start of his Formula 1 career. He said he “would like to thank Red Bull and Scuderia Alpha Tauri for the opportunity to live my dream.
“I am grateful for our privileged lives, proud of our journey and my family. This is just another experience - we move on and look to the next chapter.”
De Vries made his F1 debut for Alpha Tauri at the start of the 2023 season, after being a reserve driver for Mercedes since 2020. Red Bull’s adviser Helmet Marko was convinced to sign the driver after the Dutchman scored two points in ninth place when he debuted as a stand-in for Williams’ Alex Albon during the Italian Grand Prix in 2022.
Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, said the decision was made to axe De Vries from the team because: “there was a general feeling that Nyck wasn’t quite hitting the mark. And then the question was: ‘What are the options if we were to switch things around?’”
It was then announced that the Alpha Tauri seat would be given to experienced driver Daniel Ricciardo to see if things could improve. Ricciardo was dropped by McLaren at the end of last season when the team decided to terminate his contract a year early, leaving him without a seat.
He then returned to Red Bull as a reserve driver for the team and earned his position back at Alpha Tauri after an impressive tyre test at Silverstone last week. Christian Horner has since revealed that Ricciardo has set his sights on returning to Red Bull in 2025, after Sergio Perez’s contract with the team ends.
Ricciardo has said he feels for De Vries during a press meeting ahead of this weekend’s race. He said: “Of course I feel for Nyck.” before adding: “Nyck is also in his late twenties and I think he is mature enough to understand the sport. As I know myself, if I just look at my last year
“A year ago I didn’t think I would still be driving a Formula 1 car and now I’m here. It’s about how you deal with setbacks and how you come out of it. I wish Nyck the best and if I ever see him on the Formula 1 grid again I would be delighted.”