Nyck de Vries boost as Red Bull ‘decide’ on whether to cut short F1 career

Thomas Maher
AlphaTauri's Nyck de Vries at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2023.

AlphaTauri's Nyck de Vries at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2023.

Nyck de Vries’ F1 career hangs in the balance, although Helmut Marko has indicated he may have longer than the next three races to impress.

Coming into the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, rumour abounded that Nyck de Vries is on borrowed time at the AlphaTauri team, with apparently only the races between now and the summer break in which to convince Red Bull to keep him on.

The first of those races is now behind him, with De Vries enduring a tough weekend after qualifying last for Sunday’s Grand Prix and racing to 15th (17th after a post-race penalty) – his race including a clash with Kevin Magnussen that netted him two penalty points on his licence.

Nyck De Vries happy after ‘solid race’

Having started from the pitlane after AlphaTauri opted to make changes that broke parc ferme conditions, De Vries explained his day from his perspective.

“I don’t think there was more in it, I think it was a solid race today,” he said.

“We made some overnight changes to the car to find more performance, which meant we started the race from the pitlane. It certainly played out well for us as the early Virtual Safety Car closed the gap between all the cars.

“In terms of execution, I think we did a good job and extracted the maximum out of our package, we just lacked pace to fight further towards the top 10.

“I still have a lot to improve on, and I’m certainly not yet at the level I want to be, but collectively, we are trying to consistently improve.” recommends

Max Verstappen blasts ‘pretty terrible’ F1 2026 rules, fears ‘massive development war’

Austrian GP driver ratings: Awful race for Lewis Hamilton as fellow Brit shines

As for the pressure on him as the Red Bull axe swings over him, de Vries said: “I don’t care too much about what others think and I try to do the best I can.

“Later this month, I think Budapest will suit us the best, without any long straights and with lots of downforce.”

De Vries also joked about his incident with Magnussen, the second time in two races the pair have come to blows on track: “It’s just part of it. We’re racing for position and it’s not for me to determine whether a penalty is justified or not,” he told Viaplay.

“Apparently, we like each other and we find each other on the track!”

Asked what he thinks Red Bull need to see in order to keep him in the seat, De Vries said that points are a near impossibility to achieve.

“If confirmation is scoring points, then they’re asking something quite difficult. Almost unrealistic, yes,” he said.

“I’m just trying to do my job and I think this race was fine.”

Does Helmut Marko have a deadline in mind?

Speaking after the race, Kevin Magnussen hinted at understanding the pressure De Vries might be under in the car, even if the Dutch driver is doing his best not to show it while out of the car.

“Everything with him is maxed out at the moment,” Magnussen said. “He may be under a bit of pressure.”

The rumours of De Vries’ four-race evaluation were also seemingly confirmed by Marko as he said Red Bull would “decide what to do” after the Belgian Grand Prix, but indicated praise for the AlphaTauri racer by saying: “I think Nyck drove one of his best races of the year here.”

But Marko has also said there is no set deadline under which De Vries needs to have pulled up his socks.

“I have an opinion and I am strongly convinced. It’s hard to change my mind,” the Austrian said, as quoted by F1 Maximaal.

“I was mainly focused on the lap times of our drivers in front, so I didn’t follow Nyck’s race. I think the fifteenth place is one of his best results so far.

“There is no specific time limit within which he has to perform.

“As you know, we have a lot of changes. At the right time, we will evaluate everything and make the right decisions.”

Read Next: Jacques Villeneuve makes shock Lewis Hamilton claim in comparison to Max Verstappen