Despite mixed messages from Helmut Marko regarding the timing of a decision on Nyck de Vries, Ralf Schumacher believes the decision has been made and the Dutchman is out.
De Vries has been a driver under pressure ever since the first lap of this year’s championship with the Dutchman not adjusting to Formula 1 as quickly as Red Bull had hoped.
With several first lap incidents and a nightmare weekend in Azerbaijan, it seemed the writing was already on the wall which was not helped by Marko telling the world that the AlphaTauri driver was on a “yellow card”.
Red Bull could swap out Nyck de Vries for Daniel Ricciardo
He, however, didn’t put on timeframe on the situation with Red Bull in a somewhat comfortable position as they have reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo waiting in the wings with the eight-time grand prix winner saying he’s open to taking his shot with the junior team if it opens the door to the senior squad.
But the one thing standing in Ricciardo’s way has been his on-track performances with his most recent run in a Formula 1 car his season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with McLaren, a P9 in his final race after two dismal seasons with the Woking team.
He’ll now have the chance to show Red Bull what he can and whether that missing mojo has returned when he puts in the laps in the RB19 at the Silverstone circuit this weekend during a Pirelli tyre test.
It’s one that could decide De Vries’ future in Formula 1.
“We’ll look at the tyre test, and then we can talk,” Marko said as per Motorsport-Total.com.
But in a separate interview he said De Vries may still have a race or two to seal his own fate with the Red Bull motorsport advisor telling the media at the British Grand Prix that he’ll own answer the question about De Vries’ future “as soon as we get to Zandvoort.”
“We are reviewing the situation,” he added.
“It’s no secret that Nyck hasn’t delivered what is expected of him. It’s a hard sport and we have to always be looking to the future.
“We are evaluating his performance, and if necessary, we have to make decisions.”
One pundit, though, believes it’s already been made.
Speaking to Sky Deutschland after Sunday’s race, De Vries the final classified runner down in 17th place, the former F1 driver said: “The decision has been made, I’m pretty sure.
“He had his highlight in Monza last year and was in the right place at the right time. It’s a shame for him that he probably can’t drive Zandvoort – I would guess – but also good for Daniel Ricciardo and for the team. AlphaTauri is really bad on the road and could use a little experience.
“Nothing is fixed, but everything is possible.”
De Vries is one of two drivers yet to score a point this season with the 28-year-old bringing up the Drivers’ log as his best result is his Monza P12 compared to Logan Sargeant’s P11.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was recently asked for his thoughts on De Vries’ position without the outfit and said “there are currently no plans to replace Nyck.”
But, he then added: “Of course we have a junior programme and Daniel is also on the sidelines. He will first test our car at Silverstone and then we will see how good he is and how confident he is in the car.”