Tost feels sympathy for De Vries: “Nyck is a fantastic person”

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Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Franz Tost, team principal of Scuderia AlphaTauri, believes that Nyck de Vries was underprepared for his Formula 1 debut. The now replaced Dutchman joined the Red Bull sister team after a stellar performance during last year’s Italian Grand Prix for Williams. There he replaced Alex Albon, who suffered from appendicitis, and bagged two solid points on his debut.

Unfortunately his 2023 affair was less stellar, prompting Helmut Marko to replace him with Daniel Ricciardo.

The departing team boss explained it wasn’t an easy decision to let De Vries go:“I feel a lot of sympathy for Nyck. Believe me this was a really very, very tough decision because Nyck is a fantastic person. He won the Formula 2 championship and was Formula E World Champion.

“I must say F1 has changed dramatically in the last years. That means, if a young driver comes into F1 he really has to be prepared in a very, very professional way.”

This professional way wasn’t available to Nyck de Vries, Tost feels.

“What do I mean with this? Before he comes to F1, yes [he has] the two private tests where he achieves around 5000 km or whatever. We did some pilot tests with Nyck at the beginning of the season, but not as much as maybe would have been necessary.”

In addition to the limited amount of testing in modern Formula 1, there were quite a lot of new tracks De Vries had to get acquainted to, despite his considerable experience in motorsports.

“At the beginning of the year you have many racetracks where they never have raced before, like in Saudi Arabia, Miami, Melbourne”

“Then we have additional Sprint races like in Baku where you have only FP1 and then you have already qualifying. This makes it for a rookie, really, really difficult to show a good performance.”

The Austrian veteran added some encouraging words for the 28-year-old: “The field now in F1 is very, very competitive. There is no driver that does not deserve to be there.”

Another reason to let De Vries go is the current position of AlphaTauri in the championship, where his inexperience and poor preparation would put the team on the back foot in the battle with Alfa Romeo, Haas, and Williams. Currently they are five points behind the Swiss outfit and two more behind the other two, something they hope Ricciardo can change.

“Looking at the second half of the season, this was also an important point in our decision making process.

“Nyck wouldn’t have known many race tracks and this is also a very, very big disadvantage. Daniel Ricciardo knows them and therefore at the end, we decided to go with Ricciardo.”