Helmut Marko makes worrying AlphaTauri claim as he slams Nyck de Vries

Red Bull have defended the decision to sack Nyck de Vries, replacing him after just 10 races in Formula 1.

In the wake of the controversial decision to remove Nyck de Vries from the Alpha Tauri team, Dr. Helmut Marko, a key figure at Red Bull, expressed no regrets over what has been described as a “brutal” call. 

Marko defended the move, stating that de Vries and the rest of the energy drink company’s junior team were “stagnating.”

“Nyck de Vries did not live up to our expectations,” Marko explained during the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

“At the same time, Alpha Tauri dropped to last place, and two new managers are coming in. 

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“Franz Tost is retiring. The motivation and the passion seemed to have gotten a little lost in the team. 

“A driver change can always have a positive effect. 

“That’s the emotional aspect.”

Red Bull’s decision to promote Daniel Ricciardo back into racing action after a six-month stint on the bench following his own performance slump at McLaren has raised eyebrows. 

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However, Ricciardo’s presence in the team brought about positive momentum and stability in technical aspects, as he outperformed Yuki Tsunoda throughout the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

“It’s also the positive momentum that he (Ricciardo) brought to the team and a stabilisation of the technical statements and changes,” Marko praised. 

“The change worked out perfectly.”

Regarding the future prospects for Ricciardo and Tsunoda, Marko downplayed rumours of Ricciardo potentially replacing Sergio Perez at Red Bull Racing in 2024. 

He asserted that Perez is already under contract for the following year. 

As for Tsunoda, the Red Bull official expressed contentment with his progress, hinting that the young Japanese driver might continue with the team. 

However, he acknowledged that anything is possible in the ever-evolving world of Formula 1.

Marko also touched upon Tsunoda’s ties to Honda, a factor that could influence his future with Red Bull, as the team will partner with Ford for its own engine program starting in 2026. 

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With Honda’s involvement in the Formula 1 career of Ayumu Iwasa and Tsunoda, Marko noted that Liam Lawson, another promising driver, is independent of Honda.

Explaining why Lawson was overlooked for de Vries’ mid-season seat, Marko cited the risk involved due to the New Zealander’s lack of experience and absence of a similar image to Ricciardo. 

Acknowledging Lawson’s potential, Marko stated that he should finish his season in Japan and maintained that Ricciardo’s experience allows for better comparisons with Tsunoda’s performance.