Toto Wolff comments on Daniel Ricciardo replacing Sergio Perez

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has waded into the debate over Daniel Ricciardo’s return and the axing of Nyck de Vries from AlphaTauri.

In a surprising turn of events, Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes, has hinted at the real reason behind Daniel Ricciardo’s promotion to an F1 seat, suggesting that Red Bull is using him as a ‘benchmark’ to evaluate the potential of the Australian driver taking over from Sergio Perez. 

The move, however, resulted in Nyck de Vries, the former reserve driver for Mercedes, being dropped mid-season from AlphaTauri to make way for Ricciardo.

Expressing his empathy for Nyck de Vries, who had been striving to make his mark in the F1 world, Wolff assured his support for the Dutch driver despite his unexpected departure from AlphaTauri. 

“I do feel sorry for him,” Wolff said.

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“He had called me on Monday morning to ask if I had time for a cup of coffee. 

“I did and I will support him as best I can.”

However, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell performing exceptionally well at Mercedes, Wolff made it clear that there is no place for de Vries in the team. 

He acknowledged that Formula 1 is a harsh and competitive realm, and while de Vries had shown potential, the decision was unavoidable.

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“I think they wanted to have a benchmark with Daniel Ricciardo, to see if he can take over from Checo (Perez),” Wolff remarked, shedding light on the underlying motive behind Ricciardo’s promotion.

Despite the unfortunate turn of events, Wolff had words of praise for Nyck de Vries’s accomplishments in Formula 1. 

He believed that given more time to acclimatise to the car, de Vries might have emerged as a strong contender for Perez’s Red Bull seat.

“I’m a fan of Nyck’s,” Wolff stated.

“He’s always contributed a lot to the development of the car, but maybe he needed more time. 

“Who knows what would have happened if he had been given the whole season. 

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“Maybe he would have been a good candidate for the Red Bull seat, but that’s not our problem,” Wolff continued.

Nyck de Vries’s departure from AlphaTauri has certainly shaken up the F1 community, leaving fans speculating on his future prospects. 

However, with his experience and potential, it’s likely that the talented Dutch driver will find new opportunities to continue his racing journey.