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Nyck De Vries in Miami

Nyck De Vries’ F1 seat at risk if his performance doesn’t improve soon

Helmut Marko has given a three-race ultimatum to Nyck De Vries

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Nyck De Vries is now under-pressure to start delivering performances if he wants to keep his seat in F1.

Photo credits: Rudy Carezzevoli, Getty Images

Nyck De Vries put on a stellar performance in Monza last season when Alex Albon had to take medical leave due to surgery. This was De Vries’ first time in an F1 car and he made sure to leave his mark. He finished in the points and also outperformed the other Williams driver Nicholas Latifi.

Previously he won the 2019 F2 championship with 266 points, 52 more than Latifi. His win secured him a full-time seat in Formula E with Mercedes for 2020. The following year De Vries took the championship and won his first Formula E title. He has had a lot of experience in different series and after his spectacular performance in Monza, he became a top contender for an F1 seat for 2023.

De Vries season so far
Nyck De Vries in Baku. Photo credits: Bryn Lennon, Getty Images

De Vries signed on with Alpha Tauri and viewers were excited to see what he could do with a full-time seat. However, the start of his season has been underwhelming and overall disappointing. He currently sits last in the championship standings and is one of the two drivers to score no points so far in the first five rounds. In the past three races, he has had two DNFs and finished 18th in Miami after hitting the back of Lando Norris’ car on the first lap.

De Vries has been under a lot of pressure to deliver some results and although the Alpha Tauri this season is not one of the fastest cars on the grid, his teammate Yuki Tsunoda has been consistently fighting for a place in the top 10. In qualifying De Vries is 0.328% slower on average than Tsunoda.

The pressure is only starting to build for De Vries as reports of Helmut Marko have came out saying he has until the Spanish Grand Prix (three races away) to improve results or he could be replaced by another driver.

Daniel Ricciardo rumours
Daniel Ricciardo keeping up-to-date with the on-track action in Melbourne. Photo credits: Mark Thompson, Getty Images

It has been rumoured that Daniel Ricciardo is one of the canidiates to replace De Vries if he doesn’t start delivering performances soon.

It was confirmed yesterday that Ricciardo will be testing the Red Bull car after the Silverstone Grand Prix for Pirelli tyre testing and is also meant to be testing after another Grand Prix later this year, the track is still to be confirmed. Ricciardo has recently spoken about how he wants to get back on the track and return full-time for next season.

He mentioned in an interview with Formula 1 that he still has what it takes. “I’m just excited to drive again and to just try to remind a team obviously I once had a lot of success with that I can still turn a fast lap.”

The Australian is currently a Red Bull reserve driver and he is also a reserve driver for Alpha Tauri. The rumours started spiraling when it was reported he had a seat fitting at the Alpha Tauri Faenza factory.

However, this is all a part of Ricciardos reserve driver roles to support the sister team and the main team, so this situation may not be connected at all to De Vries’ future.

The potential candidates for the seat
Liam Lawson pictured in the Red Bull garages earlier this year. Photo credits: Mark Thompson, Getty Images

In other series, the Red Bull academy have some popular young talents who have been consistently delivering performances throughout the 2023 season. Liam Lawson is one of those drivers. He is currently competing in Super Formula and won his debut race in the series. He is sitting in 3rd place in the overall standings and ESPN have reported that senior figures in Red Bull see Lawson as the primary candiate for the Alpha Tauri seat if De Vries doesn’t improve quickly.

Ayumu Iwasa could also be in contention for the 2024 seat. He is currently competing in F2 where he has been putting in some spectuaclar performances. He is also currently sitting third overall in the standings, after a quiet weekend in Baku he lost his eight point lead in the championship.

These two drivers will be at the top of Red Bulls driver priority list and are likely to be drafted in next season if they continue bringing in results.

The next few weeks will be cruical for De Vries’ future so the question is will De Vries provide the results Alpha Tauri are looking for to keep his seat in the sport?

Featured Image credits: Rudy Carezzevoli, Getty Images

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