A former teammate of Nyck de Vries believes the Dutch driver was up against it with Red Bull all season due to the difficulty driving the AlphaTauri.
Nyck De Vries is currently dealing with the shock of being fired mid-season after Red Bull opted against continuing with the former Formula E Champion due to his ongoing struggles racing for junior team AlphaTauri.
The Dutch driver was signed by Red Bull as teammate to Yuki Tsunoda for 2023, but struggled to match the Japanese driver’s pace – needless accidents and incidents created further doubt, with Red Bull choosing to turn to reserve driver and previous race winner Daniel Ricciardo as his replacement.
Stoffel Vandoorne: Nyck de Vries went through difficult period with Red Bull
Former McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who was teammates with De Vries at Mercedes during their peak years in Formula E between 2019 and ’22, believes the decision taken by Red Bull isn’t one that was particularly surprising given their history – Red Bull having fired or swapped underperforming drivers without mercy during their entire F1 tenure.
Recent examples include Brendon Hartley, Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon, and Daniil Kvyat – all of whom were replaced or demoted by Red Bull.
“Unfortunately, that’s how things often work in F1,” Stoffel Vandoorne told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
“Either it can go very well, or it can go… very badly.
“I think everyone was expecting great things from Nyck, but the car wasn’t performing at all.
“As a result, it’s very difficult to get noticed. Unfortunately, he’s been through a very difficult period, and we also know what happens in the Red Bull clan: it’s often like that.
“But Nyck is still a great guy, and I think he’ll find something else in motorsport.”
What’s next for Nyck de Vries?
Vandoorne himself had to cope with the pressures of dealing with replacement rumours during his time with McLaren in Formula 1, but was replaced at the end of the 2018 season rather than having to cope with the stresses of being axed during an active championship.
As for De Vries’ future, that’s not yet clear. The Dutch driver is yet to resurface in the public eye after the announcement, while Red Bull boss Helmut Marko believes it will be difficult for him to find another F1 seat – the Austrian reckons De Vries is a strong candidate for a top-level drive in endurance racing.