De Vries, a Dutch driver, had been facing mounting pressure following a disappointing start to his Formula 1 career with the AlphaTauri team. Struggling to keep up with his teammate Yuki Tsunoda, De Vries, alongside fellow rookie Logan Sargeant, is the only driver who has failed to score any points in the 2023 season so far.
AlphaTauri’s poor performance with the AT04 car this season has also contributed to their position at the bottom of the constructors’ championship, with only two points from ten races. This situation wore thin on Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who repeatedly hinted at De Vries’ precarious future.
According to several media reports, including the Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, AlphaTauri has made the decision to replace De Vries ahead of the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
The identity of De Vries’ replacement at the Hungaroring has yet to be confirmed, but two strong contenders appear to be the team’s third driver, Daniel Ricciardo, and Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson.
Daniel Ricciardo, who rejoined the Red Bull family this year as a third driver after his premature departure from McLaren, chose to take a sabbatical to recharge after a challenging period with the Woking team. He has stayed race-ready and recently completed his first test with the current Red Bull RB19 car.
While there were previous suggestions of promoting Lawson, who has been performing impressively in the Super Formula championship in Japan, AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost hinted that Ricciardo might be the team’s best option if their young talents were not yet prepared to step up.
“Of course, the team philosophy is to develop young drivers,” Tost commented during the Austria Grand Prix. “But if the young drivers are not quite ready at the moment – we have some good young drivers coming up, [Ayumu] Iwasa is doing well, [Isack] Hadjar is doing well – but it may still be a bit early for them.”
“I see them joining our team sooner or later. But if the timing isn’t right, then we may have to find an alternative solution.”
De Vries made a positive impression on Marko and the AlphaTauri team with a ninth-place finish on his Formula 1 debut at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, where he stood in for Alex Albon at Williams. This performance led to discussions with Marko in Graz, resulting in a contract for the 2023 season, but De Vries was only given ten races to prove himself.
De Vries secured the Formula 2 title in 2019 and later became the Formula E world champion for Mercedes in the 2020/21 season. He had also served as a valuable simulator driver for the German manufacturer in Formula 1.
Neither the De Vries camp nor Red Bull provided comments when approached by F1 Flow.com.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Formula 1 driver replacement
Who is being replaced in the AlphaTauri F1 team?
Dutchman De Vries is being replaced in the AlphaTauri F1 team.
Why is De Vries being replaced?
De Vries is being replaced due to a disappointing start to his F1 career and his struggle to perform compared to his teammate Yuki Tsunoda.
Who are the potential replacements for De Vries?
The potential replacements for De Vries are Daniel Ricciardo, the third driver for Red Bull Racing, and Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson.
What is the current position of AlphaTauri in the constructors’ championship?
AlphaTauri is currently last in the constructors’ championship with only two points after 10 races.
Has De Vries scored any points in the 2023 season?
No, De Vries has not scored any points in the 2023 season.
Who impressed the AlphaTauri team with a ninth-place finish on his F1 debut?
De Vries impressed the AlphaTauri team with a ninth-place finish on his F1 debut at the Italian Grand Prix last year.
What championships has De Vries previously won?
De Vries previously won the Formula 2 title in 2019 and the Formula E world championship in the 2020/21 season.