Formula 1

Formula 1: Daniel Ricciardo replaces Nyck de Vries at Alpha Tauri

@F1 Twitter

Alpha Tauri have announced that they have dropped Nyck de Vries with immediate effect, bringing Daniel Ricciardo in as his replacement for the rest of the season.

The move comes only 10 races into the season, following a difficult start for de Vries. He was losing 8-2 in head to heads against Yuki Tsunoda in both qualifying and races, whilst Tsunoda has also scored all of Alpha Tauri’s points so far this season, with consecutive 10th place finishes at Australia and Azerbaijan.

Red Bull had became interested in de Vries following the Dutchman’s impressive substitute appearance at last year’s Italian grand prix. He stepped in for an ill Alex Albon at Williams, and managed to scored points on his debut by finishing 9th and beating Nicolas Latifi on his debut.

However, performances this season have been underwhelming, albeit in one of the worst cars on the grid this season. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko had been growing more vocally critical in recent weeks, having revealed that Christian Horner had been against the move, saying that “”I would say at the moment it looks like he’s right.”

Following qualifying for the British Grand Prix, Marko had also criticised de Vries when comparing him to Sergio Perez, who himself has been struggling this season, stating Perez “performs well in the races, in contrast to Nyck de Vries”.

Daniel Ricciardo comes off a difficult two year stint at McLaren, where despite a race win at the 2021 Italian grand prix, was consistently off the pace compared to Lando Norris. This led to him being bought out of his contract one year early, returning to Red Bull to become their test and reserve driver.

Ricciardo had been booked to complete a tyre test at Silverstone earlier today, where he appears to have been impressive. Christian Horner said that Ricciardo’s “times during the tyre test were extremely competitive. It was a very impressive drive.”

Ricciardo previously drove for Alpha Tauri from 2012-2013 back when the team was called Torro Rosso. Alpha Tauri team principal Franz Tost was happy to have Ricciardo back, stating he was “very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team. There’s no doubt about his driving skill, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straight-forward”. He also thanked de Vries for his time in the car, and “wish him all the best for the future.”

Ricciardo’s first race back will be at the Hungarian grand prix, taking place next weekend.

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