Nyck de Vries is the first driver to face sustained pressure about his future in this season’s F1 market, as reports circulate about his position at AlphaTauri being threatened.
The Dutchman was built-up as a potential team leader heading into 2023, with several senior figures at Red Bull and AlphaTauri singing his praises and highlighting his experience from previous categories.
Unfortunately for De Vries, this has not materialised into the results and level of performance both he and his team hoped for.
His younger teammate Yuki Tsunoda has been comfortably faster to start the season, securing the team’s only points this year and fighting for top 10 positions across a variety of circuits.
These efforts have been the only thing keeping AlphaTauri from last place in the constructors’ standings, although improvements to the AT04 will still be a priority.
In addition to the importance of upgrades, the first of which seemed to work well in Baku, Nyck de Vries must demonstrate that he is able to contribute in an intense midfield battle.
Helmut Marko has made no secret about the conversations at AlphaTauri and Red Bull about the 28-year-old’s underwhelming start alongside the candidates that could replace him.
Despite all this, De Vries has explained that he is fully confident in his abilities:
“It doesn’t really come as a surprise. I think that’s part of our industry, and ultimately, it comes down to performance and delivering on the track,” he told the media in Monaco.
“I think I’ve made a little bit too many mistakes. I’m human; I make mistakes. I try to learn and move on.
“Also, I believe that I’ve shown good pace at certain moments, which is encouraging me and also proves to me that the potential is there, and I personally believe it’s a matter of time for things to come together.
“I’m very sorry for all the media that puts time and effort into writing and stuff, but I was on my piano and having lessons and going to the gym.”
The streets of Monte Carlo are demanding at the best of times, let alone when a driver is working to prove themselves in Formula 1.
With this in mind, there will be significant pressure on De Vries to turn his form around and give Red Bull and AlphaTauri a reason to keep him in a seat that younger juniors could be occupying.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang