Nyck de Vries has admitted “it hurts” to lose his AlphaTauri seat on the Formula 1 grid after speaking out for the first time about his exit.
De Vries was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo last week ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, with Christian Horner confirming the Dutchman “didn’t fit” with the junior programme.
Yuki Tsunoda largely outperformed De Vries, who impressed in a one-off appearance for Williams at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, in their 10 races together.
“A short note from me… After recent events, I decided to take some time for myself away from social media, which I will continue to do,” De Vries wrote on Instagram.
What to watch on Sky Sports this week
The 151st Open – July 20 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Golf
Fourth Men’s Ashes Test – July 19 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Cricket
Premier League Summer Series – from July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League
Hungarian Grand Prix – July 21 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports F1
F1 Juniors: Hungarian GP – July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Mix
World Matchplay Darts – July 17 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Women’s World Matchplay Darts – July 22 to 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator – July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
“I would like to thank Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri for the opportunity to live my dream. Of course it hurts that the F1 chance I dreamed of for so long ended prematurely. But life is not a destination, it’s a journey, and sometimes you have to take the hard road to get where you want to be.
“I am grateful for our privileged lives, proud of our journey and my family. This is just another experience, we move on and look forward to the next chapter.
“Thank you to everyone for your kind and encouraging messages in the past week. It’s been heart-warming to feel your support.”
In reference to media outlets that claimed De Vries spoke to them after news broke about him losing his seat, he added: “PS: I received some interesting articles about things I’ve said in the last week. For clarity, I haven’t spoken to any media and for the time being I’ll enjoy some me time. Wishing you all a nice summer.”
Horner: De Vries wasn’t quite hitting the mark
De Vries was told he lost his seat on the Tuesday after the British Grand Prix, when Daniel Ricciardo was conducting a tyre test for Red Bull and Pirelli.
Red Bull’s Helmut Marko told De Vries the news very early into Ricciardo’s test and Horner says the move happened “quicker than expected”.
“It was becoming obviously a difficult situation for Nyck de Vries. But there was a high expectation on him because, whilst inexperienced in Formula 1, he’s obviously a very experienced driver,” added the Red Bull team boss on the F1 Nation Podcast.
“I think there was a general feeling that Nyck wasn’t quite hitting the mark. And then the question was, what are the options if we were to switch things around?
“And from a Red Bull Racing perspective, the most interesting option for me was to see how Daniel performs. So that was the decision that was made. It all happened pretty quick and here he is for the Hungarian Grand Prix.”
Are Red Bull too harsh on their junior drivers?
Jaime Alguersuari drove for Toro Rosso, now known as AlphaTauri, from 2009 to 2011 but was dropped at the end of the season despite beating team-mate Sebastien Buemi and scoring seven top-10 finishes.
Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, Alguersuari explained he understands Red Bull’s point of view because they need drivers to deliver.
“The way they [Red Bull] act is sometimes not fair. What they did with me and Buemi was not a very generous, sporting manner to get rid of two drivers,” he said.
“It was not decided on results, it was decided on commercial and other interesting things. But that’s the way F1 works and you have to accept it.
“But, I had a good time with them and I enjoyed every single moment. But even the pressure moments are fine. If you cannot deal with the pressure, you cannot deal with the moment you have a winning car and are about to become world champion. You have to deliver.
“I agree with the way they work. I just don’t agree with how sometimes they apply things to some drivers. If you don’t deliver results and are not where you should be, they have the right to get you out because they are asking you for the best.”
Sky Sports F1’s live Hungarian GP schedule
Thursday July 20
2pm: Drivers’ press conference
Friday July 21
8:55am: F3 Practice
10am: F2 Practice
12pm: Hungarian GP Practice One (session starts 12:30pm)
2pm: F3 Qualifying
2:45pm: F2 Qualifying
3:40pm: Hungarian GP Practice Two (session starts 4pm)
5:15pm: The F1 Show
Saturday July 22
8:45am: F3 Sprint
11:15am: Hungarian GP Practice Three (session starts 11:30am)
1:10pm: F2 Sprint
2:15pm: Hungarian GP Qualifying build-up (Sky Showcase)
3pm: HUNGARIAN GP QUALIFYING (Sky Showcase)
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
Sunday July 23
7:20am: F3 Feature Race
9am: F2 Feature Race
11am: Porsche Supercup
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – Hungarian GP build-up
1:30pm: F1 Juniors: Hungarian Grand Prix (Sky Sports Mix and Sky Showcase)
2pm: The HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag: British GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
Daniel Ricciardo’s return and first F1 Juniors broadcast headline the Hungarian Grand Prix! Watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1 from July 21-23. Get Sky Sports