It’s been another busy day in the world of F1 news, as the fallout begins following the announcement that Nyck de Vries will no longer drive for AlphaTauri.
More details have emerged about the shock switch of drivers as Daniel Ricciardo will make his way back onto the grid for the remainder of the season, with key personnel speaking out on the move.
It’s still the dominant story in town but there’s plenty more besides as we round up the day’s F1 news. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Helmut Marko speaks out on dropping Nyck de Vries
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has explained his reasoning why Nyck de Vries has been replaced after only 10 races as an AlphaTauri driver, with Daniel Ricciardo drafted back in to replace him for the rest of the season.
It’ll be the first time Ricciardo has raced for Red Bull’s junior team since 2013, with the senior team loaning him there for the remainder of the year.
Speaking to Dutch media, Marko put it bluntly: “We contracted Nyck because he performed great at Monza last year.
“We expected him to be at least equal to his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda this year, but that was not the case. Actually, he was always three-tenths of a second slower. We didn’t see any improvement.
The phonecall that sealed De Vries’ fate revealed
With Ricciardo taking part in tyre testing in the Red Bull RB19 at Silverstone on Tuesday, it reportedly became apparent quite quickly that the eight-time race winner had uncovered a lot of speed behind the wheel.
So much so, according to a report from ESPN, that team principal Christian Horner was on the phone to Marko within an hour to let him know just how fast the Aussie was – and De Vries was informed almost immediately he was out.
This information subsequently bled out to the Dutch media very quickly, before the team could make an official announcement that Ricciardo would drive for them from Hungary onwards.
Exclusive: Franz Tost speaks to PlanetF1.com
Away from driver drama, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost spoke exclusively to PlanetF1.com at the British Grand Prix weekend to discuss his final season in the sport.
It was a wide-ranging chat with our own Thomas Maher as he looks back on being the sport’s longest-serving team principal on the current grid, the achievements some of his drivers of years gone by have gone on to make and the succession plan that is in place within Red Bull for the future.
It’s well worth a read in full, even if we do say so ourselves.
Hesitation causing a Lewis Hamilton contract delay?
David Coulthard believes Lewis Hamilton’s ongoing contract saga could be down to the seven-time World Champion feeling somewhat cautious about the team’s prospects moving forward, with up-and-down fortunes of late.
He made it onto the podium at his home race at the weekend, albeit with some help of the timing of the Safety Car, but Hamilton and Mercedes both insist talks are progressing over a new deal beyond the end of the year.
For former Red Bull and McLaren driver Coulthard however, he sees it another way.
He told Channel 4: “We keep hearing it’s going to be sorted, but why isn’t it? It’s not like they need to get to know each other. They’ve won multiple World Championships together.
“So, I think it shows that he’s just not quite settled in his mind as to, the upgrades are coming, they’re maybe making a little step forward, but they need to take a leap forward to be able to challenge for victories.”
Mercedes taking inspiration from ‘unusual’ McLaren gains
Mercedes technical director James Allison revealed the team have “before and after” pictures of McLaren’s MCL60 pre and post-upgrades, and they are looking at them to see what they can learn to potentially make big gains of their own.
McLaren have catapulted themselves forward in the competitive pecking order in the past couple of races with wholesale changes made to their car, after a slow start to the season.
The improvements made Allison say “chapeau” to the team, and admitted Mercedes are looking at if there is anything they may be able to add to the W14 that might work for them…