Nyck de Vries’ sacking just 10 races into his first full season as a grand prix driver is typical of Formula 1 in general and Red Bull in particular, according to several drivers.Lewis Hamilton when asked about the team’s decision to cut de Vries from its junior team AlphaTauri before the halfway mark in the season.
Asked whether the decision reflected how F1 works, Hamilton replied: “I’d say that’s how Red Bull works.”
The team has some form in making dramatic driver announcements, such as when it promoted Max Verstappen to Red Bull in place of Daniil Kvyat four races into the 2016 season. De Vries’ place has been taken by Daniel Ricciardo, who hopes to use the opportunity to gain a return to Red Bull.
“It’s not the first time Red Bull has made decisions like this,” noted Valtteri Bottas. “They obviously follow their view what is the best.
“Obviously it’s really a shame for Nyck it was quite a short rookie season unfortunately. But also then it’s nice for Daniel he clearly wants to be back and now he’s got this opportunity. That’s F1, sometimes, pretty cutthroat.”
Lando Norris also felt the move was typical of Red Bull’s approach to managing drivers, but believes de Vries has proved he’s quick enough to find another opportunity in motorsport.
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“It’s happened to many other drivers,” said Norris. “I know it’s happened in that team more than any other team. It is brutal because it’s someone’s career.
“I rate Nyck and I think he’s a very good driver so I feel like he’s not going to have a problem finding a seat somewhere else.
“But I guess it’s just your dream to be in Formula 1 and for it to kind of go so quickly… I also feel like it came very quickly for him, which is a very good thing, and sadly, it’s gone quickly too, which is a shame. To only have 10 races to perform, it’s not an easy task, I can tell you that. But Oscar [Piastri]’s come in, it’s his first season of Formula 1, he’s doing an extremely good job.”
Other drivers reached out to de Vries after Red Bull announced his departure from AlphaTauri last week. “It’s obviously very difficult for Nyck,” said Charles Leclerc. “I sent him a text yesterday because I’m sure that it’s a difficult one to take.
“I’m sad. I think it’s too harsh for Nyck. But obviously also happy to see Daniel back in the paddock. It’s part of Formula 1 but it’s true that it’s very harsh for Nyck.”
Pierre Gasly, who experienced another of Red Bull’s tough driver decisions when he was dropped by Red Bull after half a season in 2019, also empathised with de Vries’ situation.
“Obviously I’m kind of sad to see Nyck going because I have known him for the past probably 15 years. I just know he’s a great guy, and this chance probably didn’t achieve as much as he would have liked, but I just want to wish him the best. There’ll be plenty of opportunities out there for him.”
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