Nyck de Vries speaks out amid Red Bull axe rumours

Nyck de Vries is yet to score a point this season, alongside fellow rookie Logan Sargeant.

Nyck de Vries has endured a turbulent start to his rookie campaign at AlphaTauri, with him having already been linked with an early exit.

The Dutchman has found some better form in recent rounds ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix; however, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko was forced to show the 28-year-old a “yellow card” earlier in the season.

This is due to how badly the 2021 Formula E World Champion started the season, something which saw him come under fire almost immediately from the media.

Marko admitted that De Vries wasn’t performing good enough in the opening races of the season, especially as he was expected to be a driver who could lead the Faenza-based team.

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Instead, Yuki Tsunoda has filled that role superbly, having started 2023 almost like a different driver.

Tsunoda’s strong start has highlighted De Vries’ woes, whilst Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson performing so well in Japan hasn’t helped.

Lawson is currently leading the Super Formula championship, with him being the likely candidate to replace De Vries should the Dutch driver receive the sack.

Marko’s early warning though, does seem to have done the trick, given that De Vries has performed better since being reportedly slapped with an ultimatum.

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He finished 12th in Monaco and 14th in Spain, whilst he also showed much better racecraft compared to his incident-filled races at the start of the season.

Simply getting used to the F1 format has seemingly been one of the Dutchman’s biggest struggles, mostly due to the amount of track time F1 drivers receive ahead of qualifying.

Throughout his career, De Vries has been used to minimal free practice, with him noting that the format is “very different” to any other single-seater category.

“The game in Formula 1 is very, very different than any junior single-seater category,” De Vries told The Race.

“In all the categories up to Formula 1 you have a lot less track time and it’s all about getting to 90%. You start you free practice session with full fuel, a different [tyre] compound and you go into quali, take the fuel out but still have to drain it through the session because you can’t refuel and you go on a softer compound.

“So run two is the one that counts and that means you only have one or two laps. No one is able to put it on 99% in those laps. You try, but you’re within 90% or 85% in that lap, it already puts you very close to the top five.

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“In Formula 1, you have much more track time and it’s a moving target because conditions are constantly changing, the track is evolving. You have a lot of track time and everything is pushed much more into the detail. Little things are more sensitive because the differences are so small.

“Monaco was a good experience for that, because you could only really see the laptimes coming alive in qualifying. But you still have three hours of practice to do and you’re constantly learning and evolving both as a driver and as a package through those sessions. And that game is very different.

“Being one with the car, knowing what you have and knowing what to expect is going to make a difference.”