Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he did not see how the signing of Nyck de Vries fit into Red Bull’s junior philosophy, so his presence was always a “temporary”.
De Vries entered the Red Bull fold for F1 2023 and was assigned to its AlphaTauri junior team, where he would become teammates with Yuki Tsunoda after Pierre Gasly’s departure for Alpine.
But for De Vries, his Red Bull career ended after just 10 grands prix, the Dutchman’s struggles to match Tsunoda’s performances and a series of rookie mistakes convinced Red Bull it was time to pull the plug.
Christian Horner confirms his doubts about Nyck de Vries
Nearing the end of de Vries’s time with the team, Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko had alarmingly made public that Horner had not been on board with the idea of signing de Vries, who had impressed in a one-off outing. for Williams at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, taking a P9.
And now Horner, speaking in the f1 nation podcast, has shed more light on why he didn’t think De Vries was the right fit for the role at AlphaTauri all along.
“Look, Nyck is a very capable driver and a Formula E champion and Formula 2 champion. He obviously has a lot of experience,” Horner began.
“He is not a young driver as such, from an age perspective. And I just didn’t see how he fit into the junior program. It was always a stopgap.”
And Horner said it was this experience that played against De Vries as expectations were higher for him.
So when Red Bull thought it was underperforming, Horner said it was time to look at alternatives, with the “most interesting option” being Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo, who headed to AlphaTauri on loan from the rest. of the F1 2023. campaign.
That means the Hungarian Grand Prix will be his first outing with the Faenza team since 2013.
“Obviously it was becoming a difficult situation for Nyck de Vries, but there were a lot of expectations placed on him because, although he has no Formula 1 experience, he is obviously a very experienced driver,” Horner explained.
“I think there was a general feeling that Nyck was missing the mark. And then the question was what are the options if we were to change things?
“And from a Red Bull Racing perspective, the most interesting option for me was to see how Daniel performed. So that was the decision that was made. It all happened pretty fast. And here it is for the Hungarian Grand Prix”.
Ricciardo has one Hungarian Grand Prix victory to his name, dating back to 2014 in what was his first season with Red Bull.
However, behind the wheel of the AlphaTauri AT04 for its return to F1 2023, arguably the slowest competitor on the grid, coming close to repeating such an achievement would be a miracle.
Read next: Daniel Ricciardo backs his ‘phenomenal talent’ former teammate for a future title winner
Article Christian Horner confirms and explains his reservations about the ‘provisional’ Nyck de Vries first appeared on Planetf1.com.