Nyck de Vries sends clear message after shock Helmut Marko admission

Thomas Maher
AlphaTauri's Nyck de Vries speaking in the press conference at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, June 2023.

AlphaTauri's Nyck de Vries speaking in the press conference at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, June 2023.

Nyck de Vries is out to prove Helmut Marko wrong, but doesn’t want to try forcing results from nothing as he fights for his F1 career.

The Dutch racer has been increasingly in the spotlight since the season began, albeit for mostly the wrong reasons, as a lack of competitiveness, combined with plenty of mistakes, has blighted his year so far.

It has led Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko to be publicly quite critical of De Vries’ season, with the Austrian recently revealing that he and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner disagreed about signing the Dutch driver – Horner having argued against – “I would say at the moment it looks like he’s right,” Marko concluded.

Nyck De Vries: Mistakes will happen if I try to force it

Asked bluntly whether the public comments from Marko are putting increased pressure on his shoulders at a time when he’s still trying to figure out Formula 1 and build some momentum, De Vries was matter-of-fact in his assessment of the situation.

“I think Dr. Marko would appreciate if I proved him wrong on track,” De Vries told media in Austria on Thursday.

“That’s all I kind of feel about it and is within my control. So that’s it.”

As for whether there’s anything he can do to ease the situation and pressure on himself, De Vries said he doesn’t want to make the mistake of trying too hard to turn things around.

“Yeah but, equally, there is no need to force anything,” he said.

“I think whenever you are trying harder or trying to force something that is not kind of ready then it won’t happen, and then mistakes will happen.

“So I think the key is to just continue as we are and continue to focus on the job, remain patient, and then I think the potential is there so it’s just a matter of time for things to come together.”

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Having finished in 18th at the Canadian Grand Prix last time out after a late incident with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen took him out of contention for a slightly higher position, De Vries said Montreal was just the latest example of things not quite gelling for him on his side of the garage.

“I think I personally didn’t do a good enough job,” he said.

“As a team, we also struggled a little bit. It just shows that the midfield is very close. Basically, from P11 to P20, everything is so close that, when you don’t execute a good weekend, it immediately puts you on the back foot.

“It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with direct car performance or development.

“It’s just a matter of not making the right calls throughout the weekend. It was obviously a challenging weekend with different circumstances, rain in qualifying, so it just showed how competitive it is and how tight it is.

“I’m sure that we will be back to where we were earlier, but we’ve got to make sure, as a team, that we stay on top of everything and, obviously, I’ve also got to do my job.”

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