Yuki Tsunoda speaks out on Daniel Ricciardo replacing Nyck de Vries

Yuki Tsunoda will be partnered by Daniel Ricciardo for the remainder of the season.

Yuki Tsunoda has praised the work done by former team-mate Nyck de Vries, who was sacked by AlphaTauri.

During a Pirelli tyre test at the Silverstone International Circuit last Tuesday, De Vries was informed that he wouldn’t be racing for AlphaTauri again this season, with the rookie having been dropped after 10 races.

Red Bull development driver Daniel Ricciardo will be replacing the 28-year-old, who’s already been linked with a move back to Formula E with Nissan.

Tsunoda has now spoken for the first time since De Vries’ sacking was announced, with the 23-year-old having admitted that the Dutchman did have the “pace” and also gave “good feedback”.

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“I had an enjoyable time over the past ten races with Nyck. I learned from him, and we also had a good time away from the track,” Tsunoda said.

“He had plenty of experience in other categories and gave the team good feedback based on his knowledge. He had the pace and, as a friend, I enjoyed my time with him.”

Despite Tsunoda’s defence of De Vries, Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko has insisted that the Dutch driver showed “no improvement”.

In his 10 races for AlphaTauri, De Vries was beaten by Tsunoda eight times, something which wasn’t expected by Marko.

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Marko expected De Vries to be “equal” to Tsunoda at the very least, something which didn’t happen.

Whilst he views the driver as a “very nice guy”, Marko noted that the former Mercedes reserve driver just wasn’t fast enough to warrant a place on the grid.

READ: Yuki Tsunoda speaks out on AlphaTauri signing Daniel Ricciardo

“We expected him to be at least equal to his team-mate Tsunoda this year, but that was not the case. Actually, he was always three tenths slower than Yuki,” said Marko.

“We saw no improvement. We had to do something. Why wait, and what do two more races matter if you don’t see any improvement? Nyck is a very nice guy, but the speed just wasn’t there.”