Ex-F1 driver predicted Red Bull’s move

Nyck de Vries was axed by Red Bull's top bosses earlier this week, allowing Daniel Ricciardo to return.

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher said earlier this week that he believed Nyck de Vries had already been let go by Red Bull’s top bosses.

As Formula 1 reaches the midway point of the 2023 season, Max Verstappen continues to shine with Red Bull, while his compatriot de Vries was struggling. 

De Vries failed score a point this season and finished P17 at the British Grand Prix, only ahead of three drivers who retired from the race.

Amid scrutiny regarding his future, Schumacher claimed that Red Bull had already reached the decision to axe him, prior to the official announcement.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

“It’s a shame for him that he probably won’t be able to drive [at his home race in] Zandvoort,” Schumacher told Sky Germany. 

“He will no longer be in the car after the summer break.”

The summer break follows the Belgian Grand Prix on 30th July, with the sport taking a four-week hiatus before the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. 

It has already been confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will be taking De Vries’ place from the 2023 Hungarian GP onwards.

Article continues below

Expectations were high for De Vries heading into his rookie season, especially after his impressive debut as a substitute for Alex Albon at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, where he scored two points for Williams. 

This performance garnered significant interest from teams looking to sign him for a full-time seat. 

However, the 28-year-old struggled to adapt to the AlphaTauri, with teammate Yuki Tsunoda outscoring him with two points to none.

Red Bull’s chief advisor, Helmut Marko, recently expressed frustration with De Vries’s difficulties. 

Following qualifying at the British Grand Prix, Marko criticised De Vries’s performance, contrasting it with Sergio Perez’s strong race results. 

When asked if someone could replace Perez after failing to qualify for Q2, Marko responded, “There’s no one available who could replace Perez. 

“He performs well in the races, in contrast to Nyck de Vries.”

In the aftermath of the race, Marko revealed that AlphaTauri is considering replacing De Vries with Daniel Ricciardo. 

Red Bull evaluated Ricciardo’s performance during a tyre test on Tuesday.

While AlphaTauri were also linked with Liam Lawson, Ricciardo’s extensive experience in the sport made him the more appealing choice. 

READ: Mark Webber claim bites Sergio Perez as Daniel Ricciardo lines up

Ricciardo could even replace Perez in the Red Bull seat alongside two-time world champion Verstappen, should be impress at AlphaTauri. 

Verstappen recently praised Ricciardo’s work in the simulator and expressed his familiarity and comfort with the Australian driver.