Christian Horner reveals Red Bull fired Nyck de Vries in middle of Daniel Ricciardo test

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has provided insight into the decision to drop Nyck de Vries.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has shed light on the reasons behind Nyck de Vries’ departure from AlphaTauri and revealed the timing of the announcement when the Dutch driver was informed about his replacement, Daniel Ricciardo.

De Vries, who previously served as a reserve driver for Mercedes, joined AlphaTauri at the beginning of the season following an impressive substitute appearance for Williams at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, where he finished ninth. 

However, he struggled to match the performance of his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, and failed to score any points in the first ten races of the year. 

Horner shared his perspective on the situation during the F1 Nation podcast.

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“It was becoming obviously a difficult situation for Nyck de Vries,” Horner explained. 

“But there was a high expectation on him because, whilst inexperienced in Formula 1, he’s obviously a very experienced driver. 

“I think there was a general feeling that Nyck wasn’t quite hitting the mark. 

“And then the question was, you know, what are the options if we were to switch things around? 

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“And from a Red Bull Racing perspective, the most interesting option for me was to see how Daniel performs. 

“So that was the decision that was made. It all happened pretty quick and here he is for the Hungarian Grand Prix.”

When asked about the timing of informing De Vries about the decision, Horner revealed, “It all happened a little quicker than expected, bearing in mind that we hadn’t completed the test.

“Helmut spoke with Nyck and, you know, he was the one that obviously had recruited him. 

“He was the one that spoke with Nyck about lap 11 of the test, I think.”

De Vries was one of two Dutch drivers on the grid this season, alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. 

Horner addressed whether they considered letting De Vries participate in his home race at Zandvoort in August before making the change.

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“I think it’s very difficult. That would have meant obviously leaving him in the car until after the summer break,” said Horner. 

“I think the situation was clear. It was a question of, okay, what’s the point in waiting? 

“If we’ve got to do something, we might as well get on with it and give Daniel 12 races to see what he’s capable of.”