How upcoming calendar could help save Nyck de Vries’ F1 career

Henry Valantine
Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri, in the paddock. Bahrain, March 2023.

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri, pictured in the paddock. Bahrain, March 2023.

Nyck de Vries has been backed by former F1 favourite Juan Pablo Montoya to improve in the coming races, with the Colombian believing his performances will improve when he comes back to familiar territory.

The 28-year-old Dutchman has been roundly out-performed by AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda in the opening five races of the season, to a degree that Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko even claimed De Vries was on a metaphorical “yellow card” for his struggles early in 2023.

But with the ‘European season’ set to get underway in Monaco at the weekend, Formula 1 will be heading to more familiar ground for the Dutchman, who raced around a couple of circuits in the early part of the year where he had no prior experience in racing, all while navigating his first full Formula 1 season.

Montoya believes these are circumstances which go against the rookie in his development this early in the season, and the seven-time grand prix winner feels the AlphaTauri driver needs a few more rounds to get fully into his stride with the team.

“It’s not easy coming into F1, but I think he just needs a bit more time,” Montoya said to

“I think when he gets back to Europe, to the tracks he knows, I think it’s going to get better for him.

“The schedule is difficult for him as well, coming to all these new tracks in the beginning of the year, so I think once we get back to the tracks he knows his performance should get better.” recommends

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The Red Bull and AlphaTauri stable is well-known to be something of a pressurised environment, with Marko known to be a ruthless operator when it comes to making driver changes if he feels one is necessary.

Red Bull junior Liam Lawson won his second race of the season in Japanese Super Formula over the weekend and is one of the names being touted to possibly replace De Vries if he does exit his seat early, and when questioned about Marko’s tough streak, Montoya knows it is part of the game in Formula 1.

“I mean, that’s the reality of the deal and part of F1, you’ve got to perform,” he said.

“But still, he has at least shown some signs of good performances, so we have to see a bit later on and give him a bit more time first.”