Nyck De Vries has not had it easy since his thrilling, point-scoring Formula 1 debut with Williams last year. The Dutch driver was hired by AlphaTauri shortly after that race with Williams to take the position of Pierre Gasly, who was leaving. De Vries' F1 career has suddenly abruptly come to an end, as first reported by Dutch media and now confirmed by the team and F1 officially. Daniel Ricciardo, who will replace De Vries for the remaining 2024 races, will be "on loan" from Red Bull.
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According to a statement from Franz Tost, head of the AlphaTauri team, "I'm very happy to welcome Daniel back to the team." "There is no question about his driving abilities, and he is already familiar with many of us, so his integration will be simple and smooth. He has won eight Formula 1 Grand Prix races, which will be a great asset to the team. I want to express my gratitude to Nyck for his significant contribution while he was a member of Scuderia AlphaTauri and my best wishes to him going forward.
The only thing Ricciardo said was, "I'm stoked to be back on track with the Red Bull family!"
Daniel Ricciardo joined Red Bull as a reserve driver after being fired by McLaren the previous year with the intention of ultimately driving an F1 car again. With two third-place championship finishes and seven of his eight victories, the Australian had his best F1 years with Red Bull. Ricciardo is the logical choice to replace De Vries because AlphaTauri serves as Red Bull's junior team.
De Vries has eight times outqualified Yuki Tsunoda in 10 races. The only two constructor's championship points earned by the underwhelming AlphaTauri belong to the Japanese driver. De Vries' best placing was 12th in Monaco.
This is not the first mid-season dismissal or promotion of a Red Bull-affiliated driver. Five races into the 2016 Formula One season, the team famously switched Max Verstappen and Danil Kvyat, giving Verstappen a chance at Red Bull and transferring Kvyat to Toro Rosso, the forerunner of today's AlphaTauri. With Gasly and Alex Albon in 2019, the team replicated such action. Red Bull's racing advisor Helmut Marko, who chooses the driver lineups for the two teams, is impatient.
Ricciardo has a wonderful opportunity at AlphaTauri, but he would probably prefer to be at a strong team like Red Bull, where he could compete for victories and trophies. Sergio Perez, the struggling No. 2 for Red Bull, might use a replacement, and he could do so if he could pull the sluggish AT04 up through the midfield and score whenever it was possible.
This weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ricciardo will make his AlphaTauri debut. He tested the Red Bull RB19 today at Silverstone. De Vries, meantime, triumphed in both Formula 2 and Formula E championships back-to-back. Last year, when he received his F1 opportunity, he astounded. Helmut Marko, however, does not stop for anyone.
On 7/11/23 at 10:43 AM Eastern, this story was updated with confirmation from AlphaTauri and quotes from Franz Tost and Daniel Ricciardo.