Franz Tost can only make so many excuses for Nyck de Vries after wretched Baku weekend

Michelle Foster
Nyck de Vries frown. Azerbaijan April 2023

AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries frown. Azerbaijan April 2023

Crashing out of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, his Turn 5 exit the last mistake in an error-strew weekend, Franz Tost has warned Nyck de Vries that “it shouldn’t have happened like that”.

De Vries, signed by AlphaTauri after a points-scoring debut for Williams at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, has yet to live up to his billing as a recent Formula E World Champion.

Before he contested his first Grand Prix with the Faenza-based team, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko spoke of the Dutchman becoming team leader ahead of Yuki Tsunoda but there have been no signs of that, and definitely not in Baku.

De Vries crashed out of Q1, binning his AT04 at Turn 3 when he ploughed straight into the barrier on Friday evening while, in Saturday’s Sprint Shootout, he was slowest of all. The Sprint race wasn’t much better as, while he recovered to P14, he had early contact with his team-mate Tsunoda.

His weekend would go from bad to worse on Sunday when he hit the wall on the inside of Turn 5 during the Grand Prix, breaking his suspension with his race over. recommends

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“Of course, a failure is always annoying,” team boss Tost declared as per

“Nyck touched the wall in Turn 5. As a result, the front left track rod broke and then he stopped at the next corner. That was very early in the race.

“It shouldn’t have happened like that, but it’s the way it is now.”

Tost, though, sought mitigating circumstances, saying it was De Vries’s “first time here in Formula 1.”

“He touched a few walls in free practice and [sprint shootout] and qualifying,” he said. “But that’s part of the learning phase. I hope things get better in Miami now.”

He also reckons having just one practice on Friday didn’t give the 28-year-old time to adjust to the circuit.

“It’s clearly a disadvantage for all rookies,” he added.. “They only have one free practice session. Then it’s on to qualifying. There’s a lot of pressure there.

“That excuses him a bit, but not for the race as a lot had been driven in the meantime.

“But the difficult thing for the rookies is to find the right grip level. That changes from session to session. Partly there are also wind influences: headwind, tailwind, crosswind.

“It’s not that easy to cope with it all. That’s why the experienced drivers have an advantage, of course.”

As for De Vries, the former Formula E champion admitted his exit on Sunday was entirely his fault.

“Yes, fully my mistake, my responsibility, very silly and unnecessary,” he said.

“Only thing I can do now is move on and look at the next race, and thankfully, there is another race next weekend.

“We’ll have to look ahead to what’s coming.”

He added: “It’s a mistake, and again, fully on me. Nobody else to blame.”