Helmut Marko criticised for poor handling of Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries wasn't even given half of his rookie season to show his potential in 2023.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has been criticised by ex-Caterham F1 driver Giedo van der Garde, over how poorly he managed Nyck de Vries.

De Vries was signed by AlphaTauri for the 2023 season to replace Pierre Gasly, who departed the Faenza-based side for Alpine.

Based on how well the Dutch driver performed for Williams in his last-minute Formula 1 debut at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, it was expected that the 2021 Formula E World Champion would deliver.

Other than his one appearance for Williams back in 2021 after Alex Albon had appendicitis, De Vries had only tested for Mercedes as their reserve driver.

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

De Vries was under pressure from Marko from the get-go because he was a 28-year-old rookie, a rarity in the pinnacle of motorsport.

Because of his age, Marko expected De Vries to immediately lead Red Bull’s sister team and be stronger than Yuki Tsunoda, two things which failed to happen.

The Dutch driver was ultimately sacked by AlphaTauri and replaced by Daniel Ricciardo after just 10 races, in which he failed to score a single point.

Some expected this to happen given De Vries’ struggles, whilst others blasted Marko and AlphaTauri for not even giving him half a debut season.

Article continues below

Van der Garde agrees that he was sacked far too soon and that the complaints he received weren’t “entirely fair”.

“Purely on paper, then you will say yes,” Van der Garde told RacingNews365, after being asked if AlphaTauri replacing De Vries with Ricciardo was correct.

READ: ‘It has to work’: Helmut Marko admits no 2026 backup plan in place

“But that is not entirely fair. After all, don’t forget that the AlphaTauri was completely jerky at the beginning of the season and Yuki Tsunoda couldn’t handle it either.

“Nyck was struggling and was under mega pressure after just a few races. We know how difficult it is when Helmut Marko yells every weekend that it has to be better, that it has to be faster, that you have to be ahead of Tsunoda because you are supposed to be the team leader. Then you snap at some point.

“Of course, it is not normal to think that when you are new to Formula One, you can attract such a team to you in one go. That takes six months to three-quarters of a year. But everyone thought after that one race in the Williams that he would show it, but it doesn’t work like that. It is therefore incredibly unfortunate that he was not given more time.”