AlphaTauri address Nyck de Vries ‘crash period’ amid Helmut Marko pressure

Nyck de Vries has had the worst start of any of the rookie drivers, sitting in last place in the Constructors’ race.

Nyck de Vries will be desperate to put his performance in Azerbaijan behind him, having suffered two crashes during the race weekend that saw him leave Baku still pointless.

The Dutchman had been touted as a potential new star in Formula 1 but has failed to deliver so far with a spate of poor finishes and collisions preventing his career from getting off the ground.

The early results have been even more disappointing for AlphaTauri when compared to teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who has delivered their only points so far, as well as two close calls with P11 finishes. 

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has come out in defence of his new driver amid this rocky start, claiming that it is all part of a learning curve for de Vries.

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“There is, as I always say, a learning process and a crash period,” Tost said.

“Because if drivers don’t crash, they don’t know the limit. 

“As I always say, if a rookie is coming to Formula 1, he needs a minimum of three years to understand what’s going on here.”

De Vries arguably had an excuse for his double incident weekend in Baku, as the rookies only had one 60 minute practice session to get used to the famously tough track.

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“Look to this race weekend format here in Baku. We have free practice one, and then you go into qualifying,” Tost said.

“And that’s problematic for young drivers and rookies is to get the most out of the track and tires in qualifying – that’s a really difficult exercise.”

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De Vries is facing an uphill battle going into the next few races, as he has to find a way to quickly turnaround his performance or risk questions being raised over his future at the team.

Red Bull management has made no secret of its disappointment in the junior team’s start to the 2023 season, with discussions over whether to sell or relocate the team to revive its chances.

If de Vries doesn’t score points soon, it’s not hard to see the team weighing a replacement to the Dutchman, ending his time in the sport after just one full season.