Losing an F1 place at Alpha Tauri ‘hurts,’ says Dutch driver Nyck de Vries.
The 28-year-old Dutchman was sacked by team owners Red Bull last week and will be replaced in this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix by Daniel Ricciardo.
“Of course, it hurts that the F1 opportunity I had hoped for for so long was cut short,” De Vries remarked.
“However, life is a journey, not a destination.” Sometimes you have to take the difficult path to go where you want to go.”
De Vries, a former Formula E champion, 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, and I am proud of our journey and my family,” he concluded. This is only another experience; we move on to the next one.”
De Vries made his full F1 debut for Alpha Tauri this season after Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko was persuaded to sign him after scoring two points for ninth place in last year’s Italian Grand Prix as a stand-in for Williams driver Alex Albon.
De Vries was hired with the idea that his extensive motorsport expertise would allow him to perform well from the start of his career, but he has been surpassed by teammate Yuki Tsunoda and has made a number of mistakes.
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, stated last week that the decision was made because “there was a general feeling that Nyck wasn’t quite hitting the mark.” The question then became, “What are our options if we switch things around?”
Ricciardo, who was released by McLaren at the end of last season when his contract was ended a year early, had returned to Red Bull as a reserve driver this season.
The 34-year-old Australian, an eight-time grand prix winner, earned his comeback with a strong test at Silverstone last week.
Ricciardo, according to Horner, is now focused on demonstrating he is worthy of a return to Red Bull, for whom he won seven races in five years from 2014 to 2018, before quitting because he believed the team had become preoccupied with Max Verstappen.
Horner stated that Marko called De Vries to inform him that he was being dropped only a few circuits before Ricciardo’s run began.
“It all happened a little faster than expected, considering we hadn’t finished the test,” Horner remarked.
“He [Marko] was the one who recruited him, and he was the one who, I believe, spoke with Nyck on about lap 11 of the test.”