Nyck de Vries admits sack wasn’t ‘a total surprise’

Nyck de Vries was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo after the 2023 British Grand Prix following a run of poor results.

Nyck de Vries has admitted that being sacked by AlphaTauri after just 10 races in 2023 wasn’t a “total surprise” to him, and that he doesn’t “hold any grudge” towards Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko.

De Vries was signed by Red Bull to race for their sister team last season, replacing Pierre Gasly who’d accepted a multi-year deal with Alpine.

Unlike most rookies, De Vries wasn’t in his early-20s, instead he was 28 years old when he lined-up on the grid at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

His age resulted in him being put under immediate pressure by Marko, who told the media several times that he didn’t view the Dutchman as a rookie because of his vast experience previously as Mercedes’ reserve driver.

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De Vries also raced for Williams at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, where he scored points on his debut.

Marko expected the 2021 Formula E World Champion to lead the Faenza-based team and beat teammate Yuki Tsunoda, two things he failed to do.

As a result of his poor start to 2023 where he failed to score a point, he was sacked by the team after the British Grand Prix and replaced by Daniel Ricciardo.

Since his sudden departure from the Red Bull family, De Vries has returned to Formula E for 2024 where he’ll race for Mahindra Racing.

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What happened to De Vries was absolutely brutal and showed Marko at his most merciless, yet the Dutch driver doesn’t have anything against the 80-year-old, Ricciardo or Liam Lawson.

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De Vries recognises that himself being sacked was simply “part of the business” and that he’s “very grateful” for the chance the Red Bull family gave him.

“I didn’t get a lot of it and tried to distance myself from it as much as possible. But at the same time, I can’t say that the decision came as a total surprise. I am not naive,” De Vries told De Telegraaf.

“Whether it is fair or just is actually totally irrelevant to me. Nor do I hold any grudge at all towards Helmut Marko or towards Daniel Ricciardo or his temporary replacement Liam Lawson. That is part of the business. I am very grateful for the opportunity I have been given.”