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Marko insists there was no reason to delay letting De Vries go

Helmut Marko claims ‘the speed just wasn’t there ’ when questioned about releasing Nyck de Vries after only 10 races

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There was an announcement earlier this week that AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries will be replaced by the returning Daniel Ricciardo.

Nyck de Vries
Nyck de Vries driving on track during his final F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Helmut Marko went on record saying: “We contracted Nyck because he performed great at Monza last year.”

The pressure was piled on too with the expectation being that De Vries should have at least been matching this teammate, Yuki Tsunoda. “We expected him to be at least equal to his teammate Tsunoda this year, but that was not the case. Actually, he was always three-tenths slower than Yuki. We saw no improvement.

“We had to do something. Why wait, and what do two more races matter if you don’t see any improvement? Nyck is a very nice guy, but the speed just wasn’t there.”

Marko continued that with the experience De Vries brought from other racing series, expectations were high. As a result, the standard rookie treatment, similar given to Yuki Tsunoda during the 2021 season, would not hold the same level of water.

“He is 28, has a lot of experience, and has also been able to gain a lot of knowledge as a test driver in multiple Formula 1 cars,” Marko commented.

“You can’t compare him to a young rookie in my opinion. At the end of April in Baku, he started the weekend well and I thought he would perform better, but then he crashed again. Unfortunately, he didn’t do one super lap that really amazed us.”

This ultimately led to de Vries being replaced

In addition to the struggles and pressure that De Vries may have been facing from the team, Daniel Ricciardo only heightened the pressure. The now 34-year-old, eight-time race winner had struggled quite publicly in his short McLaren stint.

This did not seem to deter him, however. During his tyre test at Silverstone, Ricciardo was comfortable in the RB19. He managed times similar to that of competitive qualifying laps.

“Ricciardo’s lap times were competitive during the tyre test, on three different tyre sets. If Ricciardo hadn’t had the speed, we would have needed to consider something else.”

Marko also added that the AlphaTauri team could use fresh energy, as the team sits currently last in the Constructors’ Championship with only two points.

“AlphaTauri is not in a good position right now and is last in the constructors’ standings. So we had to do something to change that. That often happens after a driver change and Ricciardo brings new energy to the team.”

The question remains that will AlphaTauri be able to score more consistent points with fresh energy and a promising driver line-up?

Feature image credit: Vince Mignott on Getty Images

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