Nyck de Vries has reportedly spoken out for the first time since his sacking from AlphaTauri, just 10 races into his rookie campaign.
It was confirmed last Tuesday that De Vries will be replaced by Red Bull development driver Daniel Ricciardo for the remainder of 2023, starting this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
According to Italian media, De Vries was “completely caught off guard” by his sacking and the call he received from Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko to confirm it.
The supposed first comments from De Vries since his AlphaTauri departure were published by Austrian newspaper Kurier, with the 28-year-old certainly not being happy.
The Dutchman’s seat was a large talking point in the media well before his axing, following a string of disappointing results.
De Vries failed to score a point in any of his races for the Faenza-based team, meaning his best F1 result remains as his one-off appearance for Williams at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix.
He also struggled alongside Yuki Tsunoda, who defeated the Dutch driver in eight of their 10 races as team-mates.
De Vries, though, decided not to listen to what the media was saying, because he “was promised the second Red Bull seat in 2025”.
De Vries was supposedly promised Sergio Perez’s Red Bull seat when the Mexican’s contract expires at the end of next season, something which certainly isn’t going to happen now.
Staggeringly, the driver also reportedly said that his sacking was “not surprising”, especially after Red Bull “stole the eighth title from Lewis Hamilton”.
De Vries was Mercedes’ reserve driver in 2021 when the seven-time World Champion lost the championship to Max Verstappen, something which happened following a ‘human error’ by former race director Michael Masi.
The sacked driver has received support from retired four-time World Champion and ex-Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, who labelled Marko’s decision as “brutal”.
Vettel is keen for De Vries to not be judged purely on his F1 performances, with the driver having enjoyed success in Formula 2 and Formula E in particular.
What’s next for the driver is unknown, although a return to the all-electric series is believed to be an option.