Lewis Hamilton snaps back at Red Bull over De Vries sacking

Lewis Hamilton had a short response for Red Bull ahead of the 2023 Hungarian GP

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Lewis Hamilton had a trite comment for Red Bull over their handling of Nyck de Vries after the ex-AlphaTauri driver was sacked with immediate effect ahead of the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix.

De Vries is replaced by former Toro Rosso and Red Bull star Daniel Ricciardo who has been around Red Bull since the end of 2022 after he was axed by McLaren.

It brings back memories of how Red Bull handled their young drivers in the 2000s, and Hamilton was asked whether De Vries‘ case was just a matter of the sink-or-swim cutthroat nature of F1.

“I’d say that’s how Red Bull works,” Hamilton told the media. “That’s how Red Bull do it.

Ricciardo‘s been here all year, he’s been in every drivers’ briefing this year but not actually competing which is rare, you don’t normally see a reserve driver in the drivers’ briefing.

“I’m not surprised to see him back, definitely surprised to see the decision they took on poor Nyck.

“But he’s such a talented kid, young man, and such a nice, nice guy as well so I think the future is still bright with him, he’ll have lots of great options to be in the future.”

De Vries is a former Mercedes junior driver and won the 2021 Formula E world championship, the 2019 Formula 2 title and has also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Nyck de Vries, Mercedes Test and Reserve Driver, Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Jos Verstappen in the Paddock prior to 2022 Singapore Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 continues to get harder for working-class drivers

Hamilton was also asked whether he thinks it’s getting easier for drivers that aren’t from super-rich backgrounds to enter the sport.

In 2021 Hamilton described F1 as a ‘billionaire boys club’, after his father Anthony worked up to four jobs at a time to get his son through karting.

Lewis has since launched Mission 44, which aims to improve diversity across motorsport and F1.

“Nope, it’s getting more and more expensive and do you see any other working-class youngsters here?” Hamilton said.

“The goal of Mission 44 isn’t to change the driver lineup, it’s to improve the pipeline engineers and give opportunities to so many other great jobs in the background.”

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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