Marko says Horner was against AlphaTauri signing De Vries: “It looks like he is right”

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Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, the ninth appointment of this 2023 F1 season – that will take place this weekend at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg – only two drivers haven’t collected any points yet. Both of them are rookies: on one hand, Logan Sargeant, who’s struggling to find the right balance with his Williams FW45, and on the other hand, Nyck DeVries, with his AlphaTauri, who’s surprisingly fulfilling Christian Horner low expectations.

De Vries made his debut in the 2022 Italian GP, when he was called to replace Alexander Albon. He showed a great performance and ended the race 9th, giving two points to the English team. That specific performance was worth a lot for Helmut Marko, who decided the Dutchman was worthy of taking Pierre Gasly’s vacant seat.

In a podcast by Inside Line F1 Helmut Marko opened up on how these kind of decisions about driver changes are made:

“Before it was Mateschitz and me who decided,” he said, mentioning Red Bull’s co-founder who passed away last year.

“Now it’s the new management and the team principal, it’s a common decision.”

Asked if he and Christian Horner would often disagree on driver’s decisions, Marko answered:

“Not often, but sometimes we do, yes. The last one, I would say, is Nyck de Vries. And at the moment, it looks like he [Horner] is right.

“It’s AlphaTauri, but as we are a big family I would say we’re at least getting opinions, and he was not such a fan of Nyck de Vries.”

De Vries is clearly struggling to find good results, both in qualifying and on a Sunday compared to Yuki Tsunoda. Marko openly expressed Horner’s disappointment and also gave some hints on a possible solution, by revealing backstories from last year involving current Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher:

“Franz Tost wanted Mick Schumacher, but he was with the Ferrari Driver Academy throughout all his career, and he was already in F1,” the Austrian said.

He also added the reason why his decision swung towards De Vries and not Schumacher because AlphaTauri is a junior team to give drivers a chance in F1:

“Basically AlphaTauri is a junior team and the difference between Schumacher and De Vries is that Nyck he just one race – a very successful race in Monza – so he could fit better in our philosophy of a junior team,” Marko concluded.