Lewis Hamilton has taken aim at Red Bull over the axing of Nyck de Vries just 10 races into the season, the Briton saying “that’s how Red Bull works.”
Last week Tuesday de Vries became the latest Red Bull driver to have his Formula 1 career cut short with senior team boss Christian Horner admitting the Dutchman was always only going to be a “stopgap” at AlphaTauri and when he didn’t perform, they cut him.
Joining a list of drivers that began with Christian Klien in 2006 and that includes the likes of Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Speed, Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly, de Vries is now looking at his options for what comes next.
Lewis Hamilton ‘surprised’ by Red Bull’s decision to axe Nyck de Vries
But while the driver, who failed to score a point in his 10 races with the backmarker team, says he was “hurt” by Red Bull’s decision, Hamilton called it typical of the team.
“I was definitely surprised to see the decision they took with poor Nyck,” he told the media in Hungary on Thursday. “He’s such a talented young man and such a nice guy as well.
“I think his future is still bright for him and he’ll have lots of great options, I’m sure.”
Asked if making brutal calls was part of how Formula 1 worked, Hamilton replied: “I’d say that’s how Red Bull works.”
One driver hoping that’s not the case is Sergio Perez. With de Vries out and Daniel Ricciardo in at AlphaTauri, it has been suggested the Aussie is next coming for Perez’s race-seat.
Failing to make it into Q3 for the past five race weekends and only once recovering to the podium while his team-mate Max Verstappen has gone on a race-winning charge, Perez is under pressure to keep his seat.
Although Horner has stated that Ricciardo’s vying for his job come 2025, all but confirming that Perez will stay on for another year, history suggests that’s not guaranteed.
Perez shrugged that off when he was asked about it, saying “more than half of the grid” wants to take his seat.
“I feel sorry for Nyck, he had a very short experience,” Perez said. “It was quite brutal in that regard.
“It was a very short experience in F1 but you never know what the future will hold for him. It’s just how it is, you know? This is Formula One.
“On the other hand, I’m happy for Daniel. He’s very motivated to be back, so well done to him. It’s a great opportunity for him.
“From my side it doesn’t change anything because I drive for Red Bull, there’s not just Daniel out there. It’s Yuki [Tsunoda, Ricciardo’s teammate], it’s more than half of the grid would like to drive for Red Bull.
“So it doesn’t change anything.”