Nyck de Vries failed to finish in the top 10 again last weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix, as the pressure continues to build on the AlphaTauri driver.
The rookie has endured a very challenging start to life in Formula 1, with him having made several mistakes since being signed by the Faenza-based team.
As a result, he was shown a “yellow card” by Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko ahead of the recent Monaco Grand Prix and reportedly an ultimatum.
It was reported that De Vries was given three races to save his F1 career or risk being dropped mid-season, something Red Bull are knowingly not afraid of doing.
To his credit, De Vries showed considerable improvement at the Circuit de Monaco, where he finished 12th.
He also made a strong start to the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, where he progressed to Q2 and qualified ahead of Yuki Tsunoda.
De Vries started the race from 14th, a position he retained until the end of the race.
Tsunoda overtook the Dutchman during the race to finish P12, marking another afternoon behind his team-mate for De Vries.
Just how much time he’s going to be given remains to be seen, with Marko having recently admitted that they expected better from De Vries.
“We thought Nyck would immediately challenge Yuki Tsunoda with his experience,” said Dr Helmut Marko, “but that hasn’t happened yet.”
Marko wants the 28-year-old to be much closer than he is to Tsunoda, with the Austrian noting that the way he performed in Monaco is “what I want to see from him”.
“He was much closer to his teammate than before and that is what I want to see from him,” Marko added.
Journalists were quick to ask De Vries about Marko’s comments ahead of last weekend’s Grand Prix, to which he showed some fire.
De Vries admitted that he doesn’t stay “up to date” with all the comments made about him, and that it’s down to him to “move forward”.
“You’re the third journalist who has mentioned this to me because I haven’t really been reading news,” De Vries said in the media pen ahead of the Spanish GP.
“I’m not very up to date with what everyone is saying. But we live in the present, you’re as good as your last race and it’s ultimately all about performance.
“People make mistakes, I make mistakes, we’re human, we move forward, and this weekend is a new weekend.”
Ahead of the Spanish GP, De Vries also revealed that he hadn’t seen Marko since Monaco.
“We haven’t seen each other yet,” he added.