Red Bull blasted for ‘cruel’ Nyck de Vries decision as hiring questioned

Nyck de Vries' best result from the first 10 races of the 2023 season was 12th at the Monaco GP.

After much speculation, it was finally confirmed on Tuesday that after just 10 races, Nyck de Vries had been dropped by AlphaTauri and Red Bull.

The rookie driver has been replaced from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards by Red Bull development driver Daniel Ricciardo, who’ll be making his eagerly awaited return to the grid.

Ricciardo’s last race in Formula 1 came at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which brought his disastrous two-year McLaren spell to an end.

The Australian has clearly been working very hard behind-the-scenes at Red Bull though, given that he’s been chosen over the team’s junior drivers to replace De Vries.

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De Vries has endured a challenging start to the season, with the Dutchman having failed to score a single point.

He’s also been beaten by Yuki Tsunoda in eight of the opening 10 races; however, the Japanese driver does boast much more experience.

De Vries had actually been showing signs of progress over recent races, as his pace started to challenge Tsunoda’s.

Clearly his performances weren’t enough to convince Red Bull or AlphaTauri though, given his dramatic sacking.

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Being a rookie at 28 years old certainly added additional pressure to the driver, especially as he was the eighth-oldest driver on the grid.

As he’s older he would’ve been expected to have made a more instant impact, with Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko having seen De Vries ahead of the season as someone who could lead AlphaTauri.

This obviously hasn’t happened, although in the former Formula E World Champion’s defence, he’s hardly had the car to show his potential.

AlphaTauri comfortably have the slowest car on the grid, something which is proven by the fact that they sit bottom of the Constructors’ Championship.

De Vries’ sacking has certainly raised several questions on why he was signed in the first place, with ex-F1 driver and current FE driver Lucas di Grassi having slammed Red Bull’s “process” of hiring drivers.

“When you axe a driver after 10 races it shows the process of making the hiring decision is wrong,” Di Grassi said.

Dutch driver Tom Coronel jumped to the defence of De Vries and admitted that 10 races is “way too early” to fire a driver, with Coronel believing that a rookie deserves a “full season to show your progress”.

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“Racing is cruel and so are the decisions,” said Coronel.

“In my opinion, it’s way too early to make a decision about a driver when you’re not even halfway through the season.

“There’s a lot more than Formula 1,” he added, “but you deserve to have a full season to show your progress.”