After just 11 races in Formula 1, Nyck de Vries has been sacked as an AlphaTauri driver following his poor performance at the 2023 British Grand Prix, and Daniel Ricciardo named as the Dutchman’s replacement.
De Vries impressed during the 2022 Italian GP with Williams when he replaced Alex Albon who was suffering from appendicitis. The Dutchman was drafted into the team on the Saturday morning and eventually qualified 13th for the race at Monza. He then bagged Driver of the Day after finishing ninth.
That led to a drive for AlphaTauri in the 2023 F1 season, replacing Pierre Gasly who had moved to Alpine.
The 2023 season started reasonably well for De Vries with two 14th place finishes at the Bahrain GP, then the Saudi Arabian GP. But 15th in Australia, retirement in Azerbaijan and 18th in Miami put pressure on the Dutchman.
Things did improve as F1 made its way back to Europe, with 12th in Monaco and 14th in Spain.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko had suggested ahead of the Spanish GP that De Vries was on a yellow card given his sub-par performances.
“We have spoken to De Vries and he is of the same opinion as us: he needs to improve,” Marko told F1-insider. “To speak in football terms: Nyck has received a yellow card, but not yet a red one. If he improves, a driver change will not be an issue”
But 18th in Canada, then 17th in Austria raised the pressure once again. Then at the 2023 British GP, De Vries finished 17th, effectively last, which has sealed his fate.
Who will replace De Vries at AlphaTauri?
Rumours have also suggested that Sergio Perez’s place at Red Bull is under threat, and reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo is waiting in the wings to take over from the Mexican.
However, given a seat became open at Red Bull’s sister team, Ricciardo has been given an F1 reprieve and will finish the 2023 season driving for AlphaTauri. Ricciardo will take the wheel for the 2023 Hungarian GP.
“Scuderia AlphaTauri announces that Daniel Ricciardo will be joining the team on loan from Oracle Red Bull Racing for the remainder of the Formula 1 season, starting from the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix,” a statement from the team read.
“I’m very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team,” commented Franz Tost, AlphaTauri Team Principal. “There’s no doubt about his driving skill, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straight-forward.
“The team will also profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner. I would like to thank Nyck for his valuable contribution during his time with Scuderia AlphaTauri, and I wish him all the best for the future.”
Daniel Ricciardo said: “I’m stoked to be back on track with the Red Bull family!”