Ricciardo returns as AlphaTauri drop de Vries after just 10 races

2023 F1 season

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Nyck de Vries has lost his Formula 1 seat with AlphaTauri after just 10 grands prix.

His replacement is Daniel Ricciardo, who will return to the F1 grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix next week. AlphaTauri confirmed Ricciardo is “on loan” from Red Bull.

Ricciardo has been serving as Red Bull and AlphaTauri’s reserve driver this year after he was released from a three-year contract with McLaren a year early. He was in action at Silverstone today driving Red Bull’s 2023 car in a Pirelli tyre test.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Ricciardo “hasn’t lost any form while away from racing” and has been making “strides” in his simulator sessions for the team. “His times during the tyre test were extremely competitive. It was a very impressive drive and we are excited to see what the rest of the season brings for Daniel on loan at Scuderia AlphaTauri.”

Daniel Ricciardi, Red Bull, Silverstone, Pirelli tyre test, 2023
Ricciardo is testing for Red Bull at Silverstone today
AlphaTauri chose to sign Ricciardo as de Vries’ replacement over fellow reserve driver Liam Lawson, who contested two practice sessions with AlphaTauri last year and has more recent race experience as he is currently second in Japan’s top-level single-seater championship Super Formula.

Ricciardo previously drove for his latest team in 2012 and 2013, when it was called Toro Rosso. “I’m very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team,” said AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost.

“There’s no doubt about his driving skill, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straightforward. The team will also profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula 1 grand prix winner.”

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Tost added: “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.”

Nyck De Vries, AlphaTauri, Silverstone, 2023
De Vries finished his last race in 17th
De Vries made his debut last year with Williams in a one-off appearance at the Italian Grand Prix. Substituting for Alexander Albon , De Vries starred by starting eighth and finishing ninth.

Less than a month later he was signed by AlphaTauri for 2023, but his time at the team proved challenging. Starting and finishing 12th at the Monaco Grand Prix has been the highlight of de Vries’ season so far.

He has failed to score so far this year – though team mate Yuki Tsunoda has taken just two points – and is last in the standings. De Vries was slowest in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix, and was the lowest-placed finisher at the Canadian and British grands prix.

Exclusive Ricciardo interview: I got back in the sim and thought: “Have I lost it?”
De Vries was picked up by AlphaTauri after he impressed at Monza. He started that weekend driving for Aston Martin in practice, having done the same for Williams and Mercedes earlier in the year. He drove for five teams in total in 2022, including Aston Martin in practice at Monza, as Alpine called upon de Vries for a private test and he joined AlphaTauri for the post-season event for junior drivers.

However de Vries’ longest-lasting F1 relationship is with McLaren, who signed him as a junior while he was in karting and backed him all the way up to Formula 2 over a period of eight years. In that time, de Vries became World Karting Champion, Formula Renault Eurocup champion and a race-winner in GP3, FR3.5 and Formula 2.

He was also backed by Audi for a time, and served as its reserve driver in Formula E.

It was only once de Vries split with McLaren that he showed his best form, winning the 2019 F2 title and then stepping into a FE seat with Mercedes. He became the series’ first world champion in 2021.

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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155 comments on “Ricciardo returns as AlphaTauri drop de Vries after just 10 races”

  1. These must be some of the better 3 days in Zak Brown’s professional life.

    1. Why? Red Bull waited until they had proof Dan could still drive a car before they put him in a race… all it says is that Brown completely mismanaged a driver.

      1. LOL!! For two whole seasons Brown was telling Ricardo to drive like my after a heavy drinking session.

        And what “proof” have RB got? Let’s see what the real world delivers to Danny Boy as opposed to test drives.

        1. He posted times that would’ve put him p2 at Silverstone during the Pirelli test.

          McLaren mismanaged him, he was the most coached driver on he grid. RBR have had him for 6 months without being in a car and he’s back.

      2. Why?

        McLaren appear rather competitive again. Podium at their home race.

        And I imagine there’s going to be a financial windfall coming their way now that Dani found a full-time F1 seat again.

        1. Not necessarily, that all depends on Ric’s contract. It looks promising for McLaren, but it also wouldn’t be the first or second false dawn of the last 4 seasons.

          1. Indeed.

  2. Understandable, I think this was the worst rookie debut in years. It just wasn’t going anywhere but downwards.

    I’m sure there will be plenty of “oh Red Bull is so unfair” posts coming, but I don’t think that’s true. This is F1, you either perform or you’re out. Nyck did a 2/10 job at the best of times, even with the most orange tinted glasses I don’t see how you could justify him keeping that seat in hope of getting better. Why not change to Ricciardo and prepare him optimally for a Perez replacement next year? Makes perfect sense for the team.

    1. It should be Tsunoda next, he’s overrated and not done enough to secure his seat for the last 3 years he’s had in F1.

      1. JIm, shinronin – Specifically concerning this season, he hasn’t performed badly per se & his radio comms are usually funny, so I’d miss him if he got sacked after the season.

      2. Perez has been in F1 for 13 years and his performances have been woeful given the fact he’s in the best car on the grid compared to Yukj who’s in the worst ….. so Sergio should be on the chopping block long before Tsunoda gets axed.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          11th July 2023, 20:55

          It is hard to work out what the worst car is at the moment. In terms of how good they are in the race, I would say the Haas is one of the worst – but they seem to have quite strong qualifying pace. The Alfa Romeo is also pretty bad at the moment, as it the alpha tauri. Lately, the williams has most certainly been better than all these 3 teams.

      3. Let’s see how Yuki fares against Dan. If I had to guess, I’d say Yuki will be slightly quicker than him.

        People look at Dan in the Alpha seat as an evaluation phase before he jumps to Red Bull, but I think that Yuki will be getting evaluated as well. Whoever impresses more in the next 12 races will replace Perez next season, the other driver will stick in Alpha for the net season to be a benchmark for Lawson.

    2. why wasn’t Tsunoda dropped last season as he was hilariously poor? RB and AT are just wonderfully capricious with drivers. there’s no rhyme or reason as to who’s given time and who’s not. by this logic, checo is done for too. the sink or swim approach seems to be intact even from scott speed’s time at the team.

      1. Probably because they didn’t want two unknowns instead of one after Gasly left.

        1. Probably because they didn’t want two unknowns instead of one after Gasly left.

          Gasly leaving seriously reduced the repair bill, isn’t that a positive?

      2. Tsunoda is Honda’s pick. Ignore all the equivocation by Red Bull.

        Does anybody believe they’d have kept him otherwise?

        1. To be fair that’s probably the bigger plan from RedBull. I think they can see that Tsnoda isn’t a strong enough team leader and De Vries isn’t up to par, so a full line up replacement is needed for 2024. It makes perfect sense to throw Ricciardo in now to get him race ready and it puts pressure on Tsnoda to perform now or be dropped for next season.

          If Ricciardo does an amazing job and they keep him testing the RedBull then he could step in for Perez if his bad run of form continues. I see that as highly unlikely, but this move will keep Perez on his toes, especially if Ricciardo starts to shine again.

          Overall sad for De Vries as he’s a solid driver but he got a fair shot in F1 and never really showed much. Happy for Ricccardo but now he really needs to put the results in.

      3. Maybe the Honda connection?

  3. Yeah I read it and it wasn’t unexpected. But that’s only because we’re talking about RBR here. Yes his performances have been low. But the car is one of the worst of the grid. And the unknown tracks didn’t help either. And Tsunoda was given time, now in his 3rd season but that’s because of Honda.

    The biggest issue with this is might be a career-suicide-ride for Ricciardo. I mean, De Vries is done. But chances are Ricciardo might not be an improvement on De Vries.. Then that’s 2 careers ended

    1. Yeah, Ricciardo really needs to perform, solidly beating Tsunoda and getting the car around the edge of Q3 regularly or he will most likely be out as well.

      As Tost has repeatedly mentioned, rookies do need more than a few races to get into it and De Vries was doing better at tracks he knew vs. new tracks. Then again, this being Red Bull/Marko, it is probably already generous they did not replace De Vries after the first 3-4 races.

    2. Alpha Tauri is going to rebrand after this season and I am curious what kind of influence this might have on the choices that are being made. With Ford coming in and the American market booming, it would kind of make sense to make it an ‘American Team’ – since Ricciardo is very popular in the states – that would make sense. Maybe Red Bull has offered him a role in the team beyond that of driver? Otherwise it indeed is a very risky move from Ricciardo.

    3. Ricciardo has nothing to lose. He was out of a drive having had two bad seasons at McLaren, and he wasn’t going to be offered a drive at a top team. This gives him the opportunity to prove that his time at McLaren was an anomaly and he can still drive. If it doesn’t work out, he’s really no worse off than he was before. If it does work out, then he could be next in line for a potential Redbull seat if Perez doesn’t up his game.

      1. Agree, nothing to lose is a good way to put it.

        1. Agreed.

          Not only that, but if he doesn’t do well, he’s always got the twin excuses of the bad car and a significant break away from competitive racing.

    4. Absolutely, I am a bit of a Ric’ fan, but this will be his last chance. Has to be best in Team within 4 or 5 races.

  4. Did they even wanted to sign him in the first place?
    Gasly left, they needed a body there, and got him.

    Suddenly Ricciardo was available.
    It was always a matter of time anyway. The car being a piece of hot garbage and his performance being beyond bad only made things easier.

  5. So is Ricciardo the new Kvyat?

    1. Dan should be carefull choosing a future girlfriend, otherwise Max could snatch her away

      1. It’s probably Kelly who has done all the choosing.

  6. Nyck can find a place at williams I think. Its far better than waiting for 2024, I think Liam Lawson deserves a chance in F1 soon and I think this was the only way. If Riccardo scores any points in that AT then Perez better watch his back.

    1. @illusive Highly doubtful as Williams has other plans, not to mention his subpar performance this season has considerably lowered his stocks.

    2. Coventry Climax
      11th July 2023, 17:18

      Please spare Williams that. I know, looking at the amount of time others get, even with similar results, he might thrive and flourish there, but I feel Williams should aim higher.

      Maybe he’s picked up by Mercedes, as yet another test, development and simulator driver. They picked up Schumacher, who wasn’t any good either, and even if they all praise the hell out of him over there, it brings them zero. So while they’re scratching their heads about the car, they might as well scratch their heads over Mick too. If I remember correctly, de Vries was praised before, for doing that job, although it’s always difficult to tell whether speak like that is just political, serving ulterior goals.

      1. Schumacher showed something positive, unlike de vries in alpha.

        1. @esploratore1
          He was also given more time

      2. Yes, he did well at monza with williams.

  7. Nick displayed an odd performance in F1, given his career results. Unclear where it came from and now irrelevant. Good luck to him in another category.

  8. Bit of a shame, might get a in back at Mercedes if anyone fancies Schumacher in their car next year.

    1. I must clarify that I meant a shame for him, not that this is entirely surprising or unjustified. If you drive for either of the Red Bull teams and don’t deliver or show enough promise then you know you’re going to get canned. I think Ricciardo is just being tested for his Red Bull drive next year.

  9. Rashmil Rajagopalan
    11th July 2023, 15:58

    I don’t think Dani Ric is going to perform any better than De Vries. Tsunoda has been better than Gasly, he was impressive in his stint in F2 too.

    I’m not sure of Tsunoda’s contribution to the engineers, the PR and other responsibilities as a driver. But in terms of speed, Tsunoda will keep ahead of Riccardo.

    1. I’ve seen nothing to suggest Tsunoda is anything more than a liability, I fully expect him to vanish with the Honda engines.

      1. Robert Henning
        11th July 2023, 16:22

        Then you are not seeing anything, or are just plain blind.

        1. Who are you, his agent?

        2. Sick burn, you really got me there. We’ll laugh about it later when Tsunoda is fired at the end of the season.

          1. Not gonna happen. Go back to your cave troll

          2. Cut me deep man

      2. @slowmo

        I would agree with you if you take his first 2 seasons in mind. This season however, he seems much better. Maybe its the lack of competition from Nick.. but he’s been less crash prone and shown more consistent pace.

    2. Are we watching the same races? I can’t remember any stand out performances from Tsunoda over the last 2,5 years. And he was way worse than Gasly, even though Gasly is not a supertalent. I think Ricciard will trash Tsunoda, because the car is not that bad as it seems in those driver’s hands. Tsunoda should’ve been out after last year.

      1. Rashmil Rajagopalan
        11th July 2023, 20:14

        @osvaldas31 let’s come back to this thread after Hungary and Belgium. :)

        1. I’m going to assume that RedBull have had Dan in the Alpha sim, and possibly even had the initial setup of the car for race weekends based on Dan’s sim work, and then not see correlating results on track. I also assume the same happens with Dan in the RedBull sim and the results do correlate with what happens on track, (a lot of assumptions, I know!) but I’m going to wager Dan out qualifies and out races Tsunoda in Hungary and Belgium.
          (I also thought him and Lando would be close, and we all know how that panned out)

        2. So, let’s get back to this thread, remember? Or shall we wait more races? I don’t care, cause I know Daniel will prove my point.

      2. Seriously? Points on debut, Baku 2021, Abu Dhabi 2021, Imola 2022, before Monaco, one of the most consistent drivers of 2023. Open your eyes

    3. I don’t think Dani Ric is going to perform any better than De Vries.

      Time will tell if your current thoughts will align with reality.

  10. Nyck will stick around and become Checo’s replacement after the summer break ;)

    1. Some people here seriously suggested de vries could replace perez, didn’t seem believable to me and here it is, not worthy of f1, let alone a top team. That’s red bull’s judgement, not mine.

  11. De Vries overwhelmingly underperformed. That said: Tsunoda is only on 2 points and can’t tally him to 12 like last year. That shows how bad the car is. Alpha tauri has bigger problems than their driver line-up.

    1. Yes, agree, red bull has the best car and alpha the worst (or close to, considering both drivers were probably bad so far).

    2. But, TBF, his average finishing position shows a much stronger performance. I’m not saying he’s good. Just that his points tally isn’t representative of his performances.

  12. Pretty unfair. I feel De Vries deserved more time. But I guess there are a couple of circumstances that didn’t help his case. His fantastic race at Monza last year gave him a shot at Alpha Tauri but it also created high expectations, also fueled by comments from De Vries himself (talking himself up as a team leader) before the season even got going. Next to that Yuki stepped up and showed great pace, while Checo’s season came undone. I figure Red Bull wants and needs time to find out if either Ricciardo or Yuki is a possible candidate for the second seat at Red Bull and that Checo underperforming has created this early exit for De Vries.

    1. De Vries isn’t a young guy. He spend multiple years in F2 before he won. He raced in FE and won a championship. I’m not well versed in setting driver expectations, but by this point of the season, I would think at least matching Tsunoda is quite reasonable:
      Race: Nyck de Vries 2-8 Yuki Tsunoda
      Qualifying: Nyck de Vries 2-8 Yuki Tsunoda

    2. I think Monza is a fairly straightforward track in that it’s mostly straights and slow speed corners. He didn’t need to be able to master the nuances of medium to quick corners which seem to be where the current generation of cars/drivers make or lose time. He did well but it’s not the best circuit to judge someones potential on.

      1. Even Danny Ric in a McLaren can win at Monza …

        1. And even Michael Andretti could score a podium there… It’s a definite trend that Monza is not a representative test of a driver.

          This was very predictable. De Vries was actually pretty rubbish in Formula E. His winning the title was more because of Formula E’s injection of total randomness into the championship standings due to the crazy qualifying rules they had for those couple of years (which they fixed about 18 months ago).

  13. Suspect a good chunk of this decision is about benchmarking Tsounda and the car in general with a view to trying to find out what the core problem is (the car or the driver). I don’t get the feeling that this is the first step in an RBR-Ricciardo reunion process, as good as that may be for fans!

    Ricciardo’s star has waned but he will have enough experience, be quick enough and Red Bull have enough reference data with him to make a likely long-term strategic decision at the end of the year once they use his performances to figure out what is wrong.

    1. @chimaera2003 That sounds an astute take.

    2. I think it’s a bit of a combination. They never wanted De Vries, they want to see how good Yuki is and they want to see what Ricciardo can do. He was hopeless at McLaren but if he does an incredible job at AT, he’ll be back in the Red Bull. They’ve got nothing to lose by trying it and potentially a lot to gain.

  14. Wow.

    A shame for De Vries but he hasn’t taken the opportunity. Will be fun to have Ricciardo back on the grid.

  15. Ricciardo gets half a season to get up to speed, so he’s ready to replace Perez next season. A Red Bull junior to then get the seat alongside Tsunoda.

    1. This. Otherwise it makes zero sense. Alpha Tauri may also replace Tsunoda for next season.

      But I don’t think Ricciardo of McLaren is any better than the current Perez.

      1. Agree, but no one would’ve hired ricciardo of mclaren; red bull hiring him made sense because they were convinced to get the ricciardo of old and probably knew what they had to do to get him back to perform.

        Red bull ricciardo could be as good as early season perez, I presume.

  16. I was prepared for an in-season change but didn’t expect that to happen before the summer break.
    Nevertheless, Ricciardo for the remaining season is an unsurprising choice.
    However, hopefully, he’d only be an interim choice with Lawson becoming a full-time driver from next season’s beginning, as otherwise, the driver program wouldn’t really serve any purpose anymore.

    1. Only someone with a personal dislike for Ricciardo could say this. It’d be like if Lewis or Alonso had a disastrous season (2021 was only bad compared to the expectations) and then someone gave them another chance and you called it an uninspired choice. The guy beat Max statistically over three seasons in RBR (yes, it wasn’t going to last) and absolutely crushed Vettel, Hulkenberg and Ocon. What qualifies as inspired for you?

    2. Lawson has been awful in F2 to boot.

  17. I think it is disappointing that they didn’t call up Lawson, but I guess if you are dropping a rookie who’s made a difficult start you don’t want to swap him out for a guy with even less preparation.

    The most interesting thing is how half a season on the sidelines has changed Ricciardo’s view. At the end of last season he wasn’t prepared to get out of bed for a team in the lower half of the field. Now he’s prepared to make a return for the slowest team of all.

    1. Robert Henning
      11th July 2023, 16:24

      He was setting good times on the RB19 today apparently.

      So maybe he is there to take Perez’s seat for RB20 if he impresses at Alpha Tauri.

      1. I’ve just caught up with Joe Saward’s post-Austrian GP blog, which suggests firstly that AlphaTauri might be looking at offering Alex Palou a drive once the Indycar season ends, and secondly that Red Bull might use Ricciardo as a stopgap for a couple of years while they wait for their junior drivers to mature (although I would add that if they keep parachuting in drivers from outside their junior programme, they might be in for a long wait).

        Combining both of those bits of information with today’s news, could we see another driver change at AlphaTauri later in the season, with Ricciardo making way for Palou (or A.N. Other)?

        1. @red-andy I don’t buy into the Palou rumors at all. Only rumors in all likelihood without foundation.

        2. @red-andy I’d treat his predictions with a bit of caution though, as some of his predictions in 2022 were rather off – for example, he was rather contemptuous of the idea that Alpine might hire Ocon for 2023, and also speculated about Colton Herta replacing Ricciardo at McLaren for either 2023 or 2024.

        3. Robert Henning
          11th July 2023, 21:39

          Good to know, I was unaware. Thanks.

        4. I’ve been wanting to scream the obvious choice that Red Bull/TR should sign Palou immediately and pinch him off McLaren, as he is sensational and has a style that would suit F1 better than Colton Herta, much as I would love to see them both in F1. But I really don’t like Red Bull and didn’t want to give them a very good idea, so I kept quiet… :)
          Note that Palou apparently isn’t even allowed to talk to any teams about future contracts until the end of the Indycar season in September due to a legal agreement following last year’s contract controversy. I’m guessing this extends to F1 teams.

    2. @red-andy I can understand Red Bull not wanting to disrupt his Super Formula season that runs until the Mexico City GP weekend, although he could theoretically take over from Ricciardo for the last three events.

  18. This was coming but I doubt RIC will do any good in this very bad AT car. But probably better than de Vries.

    Arguably Perez is doing a worse job than de Vries so he will be under even more pressure

  19. It’ll be like being back at HRT for him, especially so soon after a go in the RB19.

  20. Do-or-die for Ricciardo as well – if he cannot outperform Tsunoda no amount of smiling will get him another seat this time

    1. Well said.

  21. Robert Henning
    11th July 2023, 16:23

    Expected De Vries to be sacked after the Dutch Grand Prix.

    He was useless all year, and with a growingly competent Yuki was made to look very bad.

    Daniel’s times apparently are very competitive and it will be interesting to see if he can create a margin good enough to beat Yuki this year. Red Bull will take care of the rest next year, if Daniel can comprehensively beat Yuki and replace Perez.

    1. Don’t agree tsunoda is overly competent, he wasn’t impressive either, although the car is also bad. Neither of the 2 was extracting what was possible from the car.

      1. Robert Henning
        11th July 2023, 21:41

        I found Yuki to be pretty good this year. He had his everything goes to the bin weekend at Austria. That aside, even folks at RB seem happy with his progress. Just check what Helmut has had to say.

        Again it is all perception in the end. Yuki was beating his teammate comfortably. Now if Daniel beats Yuki comfortably the discussion with change quite a bit.

        Having said that, I believe Gasly took the right choice to get out of Alpha Tauri at the right moment, in part because Yuki was becoming increasingly closer to his pace, and in part because Alpha Tauri seem clueless these regulations.

      2. The car has extremely poor characteristics. Yuki is extracting the maximum

  22. This isnt just a move on from De Vries, but is also a direct challenge for Tsunoda who in my opinion havent been all to great. They get in a known entity and a benchmark for Tsunoda and how the car performs. Very much needed as they are situated last in the rankings without having had the slowest car at races or qualifying.

    Dont get the love for Lawson in the comments, his best result was 3rd in F2, a fine result, but without sprint races with the reversed grid he would have finished 7-8.

    1. And usually drivers who get in f1 at least win the minor formula and on their first year.

    2. This at least for top drivers, then they can also make it to f1 if they don’t win the first year.

  23. Did not expect this, but De Vries is a disapointment this year after last’s year performance in the Italian GP.

    Welcome back, Dani Ric!

  24. I have no strong feeling on this but 10 races for a rookie in the worst car on the grid doesn’t feel enough to judge a driver. If I was an f2 champion, I’d be very careful what team I signed for.

    1. I really don’t understand why they didn’t keep him the whole season. The purpose of the team is to develop drivers for Red Bull, there’s no need to develop Danny Ric. De Vries could have come good with less pressure and more time. At least replace him with another rookie if you think he’ll never be up to standard.

      1. Think of it as a favour to Verstappen while Ricciardo got some time to prove himself in the simulator and their main two junior drivers focused on their ongoing seasons.

      2. I think they are parachuting Daniel in to help develop Tsunoda and to develop the car. I think they wanted De Vries to be a mentor to Tsunoda but when the mentor is comprehensively beaten and can’t give good feedback to the engineers, then what’s the use of having him in the team? If Tsunoda and Dan are close, then Tsunoda just might be the new Perez, if Tsunoda is trounced by Dan then he will be toast too.

    2. Oh please. When is the last time a good driver had no good performances in the first ten races or was generally this hopeless? Never is when.

  25. I like Ricciardo so I’m kind of worried the AlphaTauri right now isn’t an ideal place for a comeback. Doing well on the simulator and in testing doesn’t mean he’ll be back to his Vettel-beating Red Bull levels in another car. I think Pérez got lucky here. If Ricciardo does something miraculous over the next races, maybe they’ll think of switching them. But seems unlikely he could.

    1. It’s indeed a bit hard, even if you’re performing well, to do a stellar result on what is definitely one of the worst cars on the grid, alonso for example couldn’t do that in the minardi, although this is definitely a closer field.

      1. Yellow Baron
        12th July 2023, 7:55

        I think it all depends on the car and the front end for Daniel. If it’s like the redbulls he used to drive and the Renault he will do well but if it’s like the McLaren he may struggle again

  26. Did Red Bull stop sharing tech with Toro Rosso? It’s hard to believe they have the fastest and worst car at the moment. Replacing devries with Ricciardo isn’t going to make a difference, it’s still a terrible car. Get it together or sell the team.

    1. Indeed, I also found it strange to have the best and (maybe, depends on drivers) worst car.

      1. I might be a conspiracy theorist but RB penalised budget cap + dip in form of the AT makes me think that there might be a correlation between the two. Maybe some of the AT budget has been used to some ‘shared’ technical development between the 2 teams?

  27. This is going to be entertaining.
    I always loved D Rics driving when he was at Red Bull and was amazed at how badly he did after he left them.

    This could be like the plot from a Hollywood movie, where the old has been fights his way back into the limelight …. where is Brad when you need him? :/

    1. Yellow Baron
      12th July 2023, 7:57

      He only did badly at McLaren. The Renault was set up more like the red bull with a good front end to Daniel did well as thats what he likes. Similar to max. He would possibly do better against max that Perez because of this trait

  28. Harsh but fair.

    De Vries wasn’t a typical F1 rookie – being an F2 champion, FE champion, and having extensive WEC/ELMS experience he should have hit the ground running, and simply didn’t. What I’m more surprised at is that they chose Ricciardo over either Liam Lawson or Ayumu Iwasa.

    I can also understand if they don’t want to interfere with their ongoing campaigns in Super Formula and F2, similar to what were considering with Pierre Gasly in 2017. I can only guess that they’re preparing (and assessing) Ricciardo for a potential drive at Red Bull if Perez falls through?

  29. So? Do we like this high pressure environment at Red Bull and Alpha Tauri? Tsunoda is next in the firing line. I am all in for this guy being removed from F1. He has not been close to average.

  30. Driver management in the RedBull circus is awful. With the exception of Verstappen who has always been treated as the golden boy, the management style is pressure, pressure, threats, out. Another manager rather than Marko may well have eased De Vries in and drawn out his talent which his career suggests he has.

    Evidence is Albon and Gasly and others who have suffered the hell of Marko and with better management have proved useful drivers whose talent has been nurtured.

    Ricciardo is putting his head on the block.

    1. That’s cause verstappen was always fast, gasly this year was always slow.

    2. Damn, meant de vries.

    3. Nothing new there…if the golden boy underperformed the way de Vries does he would have been sacked also.
      F1 is all about performing under pressure. Verstappen is great at it, de Vries no so

  31. Honestly I’m starting to wonder why Red Bull keeps AlphaTauri afloat.

    1. They already have their superstar young protege (Verstappen) locked until 2028 (the primary purpose of Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri).
    2. They have built a rocketship which would continue to be the class of the field until 2026 at least and even if they put Mazepin as the 2nd driver, they would easily lock down both championships just from Verstappen’s points tally.
    3. Recent history showed that all their recent projects (Gasly, Albon) failed once they got promoted to the big team, due to lack of preparation and/or lack of talent to match Verstappen, even if these drivers are totally competent for teams such as Alpine or Williams, and there isn’t any driver in the lower categories that is setting the world on fire at the moment, one of the reasons why an outsider (de Vries) got the spot, and why Toro Rosso hired ex-projects Albon and Hartley in the recent past.
    4. Red Bull broke their tradition of hiring only in-house drivers, when they hired Perez, who despite his recent slump, he fared much better than Gasly/Albon/Kvyat in 2021-22, when it mattered to support Verstappen. Recent rumors suggest that Red Bull approached Norris as a second driver, again not caring anymore about their projects and going after the best available driver in their mind, and honestly at this point Red Bull could offer anyone to drive in that car, and pretty much the entire grid would be more than welcome to grab that chance.
    5. Given all this talk about potential new teams trying to join the grid, willing to pay 200mil$ and then spend more millions to build facilities etc… Red Bull could auction AlphaTauri’s spot to the highest bidder, which includes an existing spot on the grid (so no 200mil$ fee to the other teams for the investor), already built good facilities and trained staff and with a price that currently sits at all-time-high due to the grid being more economically healthy than 5 years ago and bigger media exposure. And they could “keep” one spot on the new team’s line up to place their young drivers, if anyone rises through the ranks. Everyone wins.

    I never liked AlphaTauri role on the grid, I understood the merits when Red Bull kept promoting drivers from there, but honestly these last couple years it seems Red Bull are struggling to find a role for their 2nd team and they just throw everything at the wall (Gasly, de Vries, Ricciardo again) to see what and if anything sticks. We might as well have a new, somehow small but competitive team, like Andretti.

    1. Double mileage with the power units.

      They said a few weeks ago that they are going to change plans and buy as many parts and copy as many things for Red Bull as rules allow. Like Haas.

      1. and as an Italian team now they have a driver with an Italian background, they could actually be a decent team next year.

      2. @f1mre The engines are frozen now, so no real gain from that aspect and even from 2026 onwards, Red Bull-Ford could easily sell the engines to the team that replaces AlphaTauri or form another symbiotic relationship with another team, like Mercedes and Williams and gain mileage from the PUs.

    2. Yes, agreed. Let Andretti buy AT. Bring in two fresh drivers.

  32. Nobody is willing to give drivers any time anymore.

    Drivers used to be given a season or more and that was back when testing was unrestricted.

    Now drivers have no time to test and are expected to be fully upto speed faster than when drivers were doing thousands of miles of testing before there 1st race.

    1. I agree. You can’t just drop a rookie into a terrible car and expect him to start hauling in points less than halfway through a season. But this is the way Red Bull have always done it. It’s fantastic if you thrive in the team (Verstappen, Vettel etc) but the other 70% of their drivers are out on their ears before they know what’s happening.

      1. On other hand, red bull gives more chances to drivers who impress in minor categories or in 1-off performances like de vries at monza in williams than any other team does.

        Also at this point the red bull driver programme has been around for like 15 years, so it’s well known how they operate and if de vries thought he couldn’t handle it he should’ve declined the offer, but maybe he felt he wouldn’t have got a f1 chance otherwise.

    2. I agree with your points on testing. Though De Vries was an unusual rookie and should have been on the pace immediately. For “normal” rookies they definitely need multiple seasons.

  33. A shame that de Vries doesn’t have the chance to compete at his home GP, but to release him is the best decision from AlphaTauri. I wonder where the de Vries that starred at Monza last year, has gone

    Ricciardo has to hit the ground running – this is a great opportunity for him and he has to make the absolute most of it

  34. Netflix approves this. It is almost like they made it happen. I expect Yuki and Ricciardo will provide some solid moments for the next DTS.

  35. Wait, this is Ricciardo who vowed he would not take a seat in F1 just to make up the numbers, and has signed for the lowest place team on the grid halfway through the season?

    1. Wait, this is Ricciardo who vowed he would not take a seat in F1 just to make up the numbers, and has signed for the lowest place team on the grid halfway through the season?

      You (indeed we) haven’t seen the contract. None of us know the bonus points.

      Maybe this is him grabbing a last chance, maybe this is him working a half-season training program for a different seat.
      Entries in the sweepstake will open shortly.

      1. He also said he changed his mind after being out of f1 driving for a bit, and he would’ve accepted a midfield team, now this is a backmarker team but that is also affiliated with the top team and the one who made him shine.

  36. This is probably the worst thing that could happen to Danny Ricc. I mean, when he drove for RB, he was a 9, the car worked for him. At Toro Roso, he was OK. Not amazing but OK. He benefited from being in the right place at the right time with MW retiring. Then with Renault…a 5 or 6. And just when Renault was getting better, he left for McLaren and there, he was a 3 and getting closer to a 2. So, he did great when the car was good, but with challenging cars, he crumbled. And now he is going to probably the worst car in the grid and we expect him to shine? Please. I think RB hired him this year just in case and now, they don’t know what to do with him. He is never going to drive for RB as long as Max is there. Their relationship was horrible by the time he left that team. And it will be crazy for RB to risk alienating Max in any way. So this is it for Ric. I think this is a farewell tour for the rest of the season, as he’ll probably be replaced next year.

    And for Checo, if he finishes second in the drivers championship, does it really matter how many times he didn’t enter Q1? Does it really matter if he gets second with 320 points or 350 points? I think that as long as he finishes second, that’s all that matters to RB. Plus, him carving through the field, he get’s more tv time than Max, so that makes sponsors happy. He has always been horrible in qualifying. We’ve always known that. But his race craft is good, and with the challenges he puts himself by starting further down the grid and try to make it to the podium, is making him better. I don’t think Max’s ever seen him as a real threat and that makes Max happy. He’s learned how to get well with the team and that makes Red Bull happy.

  37. If he would have had some hidden potential he would have stayed. In other teams end of the year but Red Bull being RB they sacked him as soon as possible

  38. The paddock talk is that they would have given De Vries until the end of the season if Perez had maintained his early season form but that given his slump they wanted Ricciardo in a race seat in preparation for him to replace Perez in 2024.

    There are still questions about Daniels performance after his McLaren stint and getting him in a race seat at Alpha Tauri will answer those. If there are signs he is still capable of what he was at RBR previously he’ll be alongside Max next year regardless of what Sergio does.

    If he looks like he’s still struggling like he was at McLaren then if Sergio can regain his early season form he may be able to keep that seat. However the talk is that both Christian & Marko want Daniel back in a race seat at RBR.

    Suggestions are that Sergio will either be out of an F1 race seat at the end of the year (Retained as a RBR reserve driver) or at Alpha Tauri if he’s willing to take the step backwards.

    1. That’s mad. There is no way they will remove Perez with them leading both championships. But I would not be surprised if it happens really.

      1. Wait a second: if perez had done absolutely 0 points and got last every race they would still be leading both championships by far, so perez didn’t have to do anything for red bull to do that!

        It’s all about: is perez doing ok enough overall or not? That’s the question they have to answer when considering a replacement.

  39. Without wishing to be “I told you so”, I’ve felt this has been the obvious move for a while and have argued the case on here several times.

    De Vries was the last port in the storm, Ricciardo had rejected the role, Schumacher and Latifi didn’t deserve the drive and De Vries was impressive in the Williams. That said, he was a known quantity – he’d worked for a number of teams closely and had experience and success in other categories. If he was the real deal, he’d have been in F1 before now. So he was a stopgap until the next academy drivers come through.

    I’m yet to be convinced any of the juniors, or Tsunoda, are good enough to replace Max. And that, fundamentally, is the end goal. Lawson is better to stay and win Super Formula, Iwasa to have a go at F2. But neither will bring AT into the points and neither will teach us anything about Tsunoda.

    Ricciardo will be missing the sport, he’ll certainly not want to be remembered for his McLaren stint and the SIM work will have boosted his confidence. The US market angle and marketing in general will be much more interested in Daniel than Nyck.

    In all of this, the real winner is Marko. If Tsunoda beats DR then the earns another year having had a strong season. If he’s beaten then he’s the driver to drop and use DR as the yardstick. If Ricciardo smashes it then he puts pressure on Perez who either performs or is replaced by Daniel. That’s a great incentive for all. Marko has went from 2 under pressure drivers to 3, just the way he likes it.

    The only way Red Bull lose is if Perez is hopeless and so is Ricciardo – but I think far too many have written DR off far far too soon. Norris is no slouch and Ricciardo was top 5 in the World as late as 2020. This is really exciting for the sport and adds another fantastic dimension to the series.

    1. And ricciardo won a race on merit as late as 2021, was a serious possibility even without the hamilton-vers crash.

  40. Throughout the McLaren years I always had a hunch that Ricciardo’s poor performance was more a reflection of how good Lando Norris is. I didn’t expect to see Danny back on the grid but I fully expect him to outperform Tsunoda rather comprehensively. Perez better lift his game. Stranger things have happened!

    1. He just couldn’t drive those cars. He was very good at Renault and Piastri is a rookie and already doing better than what he was doing against Norris.

      Ricciardo is/was a very good driver. If Norris is so good to make a driver like him look like a total bum as he did, then Norris is the greatest talent in the whole history of the sport. And he obviously isn’t.

      Sometimes things just doesn’t click. Alex Zanardi came to Williams as a double Indycar champion and failed to score a point. Was it because Indycar’s field was extremely poor or because he failed to readapt to F1 after years of absence?

      1. Absolutely, it wasn’t just norris being good, it was also ricciardo not performing at his usual level.

  41. It’s such an awkward fit. I don’t like it, but it’s not my call. Max has made Red Bull his own (rightly or wrongly), Daniel walked away from Red Bull, now the junior team?

    Nyck was struggling, but what is the programme for if not 10 races? Albon has done better outside of it. Buemi et al.

    I wish Daniel the best, but what is anyone hoping from this? Daniel does well? They buy Sergio’s contract out. Promote Daniel? Then what? You have Max and Daniel again.

    It’s just very haphazard, Nyck certainly isn’t a bad driver, but if you can’t give him eleven races, then what is the programme for?

    Max worked, then it’s mostly a list of casualties, and Danny Ric, who walked away and is now back at Torro Rosso

    1. Leaving red bull was obviously a mistake, and this is one of the rare cases where I predicted it correctly back then, just because hamilton was able to make an apparent backwards move work, it doesn’t mean it happens often, and indeed renault is still stuck in the midfield as was expectable.

      I said back then something along the lines of: with only 3 top teams in f1 which have a massive advantage over the others, if you have one of those seats you can’t just leave for a midfield team, and now it’s even worse, there’s only 1 team that can win.

      1. Leaving red bull was obviously a mistake,

        I disagree. Having grown up in the RedBull family I think Dan needed to head out into the world and see what he could achieve with another team, he was hoping to do a Hamilton and jump off a top team onto the new top team. When that appeared to be failing, he bought the sales pitch from McLaren and that didn’t work out either. I think Dan has come back to the RedBull with a whole heap of learning and at least he isn’t there wondering what-if, he now knows and appreciates where home is, I think he will rise again.

    2. I suspect the difference this time around is Daniel has probably shifted his thinking from “I can only win a championship outside of Red Bull” to “I can only win races at Red Bull”. Of course there’s no guarantee he’ll be at Red Bull next year but it would be nice.

    3. Nope it’s quite good in fact.
      It’s splitting talent from transpiration.
      Vries never was a academy driver and did not perform.
      Gasly was good but not great. Sainz was good but not great
      Albon was good but not up to it then (maybe now?)
      So they successfully sifted the drivers…
      Ricci get some extra time to show he’s back ..or not .
      So everything is working as expected

  42. I have been busy all day and have just caught up on this news. I am surprised it’s happened now and expected De Vries to be given a bit more time. I am not that surprised they have chosen Daniel to replace him though. He was the obvious choice.

    The Alpha Tauri is a pretty awful car it seems so Daniel will have his work cut out. I think and hope he can make a better job of it than De Vries. He can always blame the car if he gets disappointing results but that’s hardly going to do his reputation any good.

    Daniel’s taking a risk but if things go well then it can only improve his chances of a future drive at Red Bull or another top/medium level team. From Red Bull’s point of view they are able to test another potential replacement for Perez should this become necessary at some point. They must know neither De Vries or Tsunoda are up to the job of no. 2 at the main team but Daniel might still be.

  43. I called it in the article that discussed AT returning to RB design philosophy.

    DR now has the opportunity to prove he’s still got it and Helmut can measure the other AT driver against DR to see if they even have it. There are still a lot of question marks around Yuki and they could soon be answered.

    If DR proves he’s still got it, then he will be applying pressure to Sergio and Sergio will need to respond or DR will replace him in the RB car.

    As an Aussie, I certainly hope DR can find his old form BUT…

    If DR confirms that his skills have faded, he and the F1 world can move on with the mystery finally solved.

  44. I feel for DeVries. His resume to this point is stellar. He seemed destined to get to the top since karting. And it ends so fast and with such ignominy. Must be a crazy shock even after these desperate results this year.

  45. RB19 to AT
    And it’s go ! ,go! go! in Hungary.

    Immediately Daniel to engineer, “I’ve lost power!”

    Engineer replies “Nope that’s all we got”

  46. It is a little harsh on De Vries, on a results basis he is not really much worse than Yuki
    Round Yuki Tsunoda – Nyck De Vries
    1 11 14
    2 11 14
    3 10 15
    4 10 20 (DNF driver error)
    5 11 18
    6 15 12
    7 12 14
    8 14 18
    9 19 17
    10 16 17
    Avg 12.9 13.9
    So in his 1st season he is only 3 places worse on average and that is with a DNF counting as 20 (Was his error)

    1. End result does not explain the whole picture. Tsunoda was running 9th in Monaco and Spain….

      1. My mistake, I though the result was the sole objective.

        1. and I miss qtyped my own basic stats, Nick’s average is 15.9

  47. Tiaki Porangi
    12th July 2023, 8:21

    Perez next to go, demoted to Alpha Tauri, replaced by Ricciardo, if the situation at RBR continues (Perez always failing to maximize the potential of the car)?

  48. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
    12th July 2023, 8:38

    The merry go round of RedBull drivers. Having worked in HR for 15 years and seeing the importance of company culture and the harnessing of future talent I look at RedBull and feel there is a toxicity about that place that I just couldn’t support. I get it that this is the top echelon of motorsport and you are as good as your last race, but the AT this year is not a regular points scorer and I don’t think Tsunoda is a good barometer of what success is. DeVries is a fine racer with a great CV, so support the driver more and provide the environment that will allow him to perform. He was being mooted of losing his job after just 5 races…in a world of little F1 testing possibilities I feel there is more that went on behind the scenes and they wanted a way back in for Daniel. I hope Nyck finds a more supportive work environment and could see him do well at somewhere like Williams or Haas.

    1. It reminds me of Kvyat’s demotion after scoring a podium and then the incident with Vettel at Sochi. It was easy to blame him but the truth was that RBR had to make space for VER (and, admittedly, who wouldn’t). This is rather a strategy to test Ricciardo’s potential before making a decision for the RBR line-up. My only doubt is what would happen if Ricciardo is back in form. Would VER accept him ? I still believe that PER’s inconsistency is perfect for VER and RBR in general.

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