De Vries aware of not overdriving to save F1 career: “There is no need to force anything”

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The driver market is not yet at its peak, however, rumors are beginning to circulate within the Formula 1 paddock. One of the driver line-ups that is most in doubt is the one of AlphaTauri. It has already been commented that the team is in a phase of internal restructuring, this to improve the results that the Italian team has had.

To start, Franz Tost, who has served as AlphaTauri (formerly Toro Rosso) team principal since 2006, will step down and be replaced by Ferrari’s racing director, Laurent Mekies. It was also announced by Red Bull’s main advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko, that the team will no longer be called AlphaTauri and will be renamed (it is not yet known by which name), in addition to confirming that they will have new sponsors and that the team will continue to be owned by the energy drink brand.

On the drivers’ side, it is no secret the statements that have been circulating in the paddock about the bad impressions that the Red Bull directives have regarding the performance of the Dutch driver, Nyck de Vries.

The former Formula E champion has finished behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda in 6 of the last 8 races. Despite the fact that the team is not in its best form (they are last in the constructors’ championship with only 2 points), the Dutchman is P19 in the drivers’ championship with no points, while the Japanese has achieved the only two points that the team has, positioning him in P17 in the same championship.

We know that Helmut Marko is usually very harsh with his statements, so he was quick to comment that he is displeased with the performance that the Dutchman has shown. During the press conference ahead of the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, de Vries express his thoughts on the pressure that Marko is putting on his shoulders.

“I think Dr. Marko would appreciate it if I proved him wrong on track. That’s all I feel about it and what’s within my control. That’s it,” the Dutchman stated.

“Equally, there is no need to force anything.”

“I think, whenever you are trying harder or trying to force something that is not kind of ready then it won’t happen and then mistakes will happen. The key is to just continue as we are and continue to focus on the job, remain patient, and then I think the potential is there. It’s just a matter of trying for things to come together.”

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

For his part, Yuki Tsnuoda has commented that it is a matter of time before Nyck can find a way to start taking shape in the remainder of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

“I think Nyck just has to put it all together. I think the pace is there, so he just needs to find a good rhythm because so far, in most of the races, probably he struggled a lot in terms of consistency.

“I think, in the end, he’ll get there because in past races and past results, with what he achieved, he’s showing that he can do it, so I’m sure he’ll get there,” Tsunoda stated.

When comparing their both rookie years, Tsunoda said the reasons for him struggling in his first year was also because of the team’s uncompetitive machinery.

“I think it’s a different situation with Nyck. Why I struggled in the first half of my first year was not just my problem. Obviously, there were definitely a lot of places I could improve but it was not just my problem, and the team probably knew it.

“He [Nyck de Vries] is just a bit unlucky because we’re not in the fastest car right now, so it’s hard to get good results and show a good performance,” Tsunoda affirmed.

Another driver that shared his thoughts on this situation for the Dutchman was the two-time world champion, Max Verstappen. He started his way into Formula 1 in Toro Rosso back in 2015. He was usually ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz and was promoted to Red Bull Racing a year later, with Daniel Ricciardo as his teammate. He was at the same level as the Australian, before ultimately outpacing him as time went on, and he was never in the position Nyck de Vries finds himself in. This is what he commented.

“I think we all know that this is motorsport in general. You need to perform and do the best you can. It’s not forever anyway. You can’t force things as well, so it’s about how you work together with your team, gain more experience as well.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what people above you say. It’s about how then you learn from your weekends and learn from your mistakes, like we all do. And just get on top of the car a little bit more, feel a little bit more comfortable, and definitely don’t force.

“Just talk to your engineers, what can we do better, what can be worked on and at one point there is this point where things kind of click a little bit more. You can get these results, and if you have one good result maybe it leads to another one, and then you feel a bit more comfortable anyway.

“It’s a lot of things that have to come together at the end of the day. Don’t get too stressed about it, just work hard together with your people involved who can actually make a difference and influence your performance.

“But I don’t even need to tell Nyck, he has a lot of experience. But we will see again this weekend. And this is for everyone, it’s not only Nyck. It’s every single weekend, you have to work together with your engineers

“Don’t get too stressed about it, but just work hard together with all your people involved who can actually make a difference and influence your performance. But I don’t even need to tell Nyck, he knows that, he as a lot of experience.”