De Vries denies added pressure amid future speculation
By Mat Coch
Thursday 25th May, 2023 - 9:16pm
Nyck de Vries has not lived up to his own expectation in the opening five races of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
The Dutchman has come under pressure as speculation mounts that Red Bull could replace the 27-year-old if his performances don’t improve.
De Vries is one of just two drivers yet to score this season and has recorded a best of just 14th – a result recorded in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Since then, he was taken out in the latter stages in Australia, crashed in Azerbaijan, and finished 18th in Miami.
Meanwhile, team-mate Yuki Tsunoda has recorded two points results, with 10th in Melbourne and Baku.
“The beginning of the season hasn’t satisfied me,” he admitted.
“I also understand I haven’t been satisfied, I’ll say the group, because we always want to do better.
“I acknowledge my mistakes, and obviously I want to do better. I’m not someone who’s quickly satisfied.”
De Vries has spoken with team boss Franz Tost, though he dismissed those conversations as nothing out of the ordinary.
“I think it’s normal to have conversations with your bosses,” he reasoned.
“We didn’t particularly speak very much in the last couple of weeks. And honestly, that’s really what I can say about it.”
He’s also kept himself away from the media, choosing not to read what is written “because I don’t necessarily think that kind of helps me.”
De Vries entered F1 with an impressive performance at the Italian Grand Prix, where he deputised for the unwell Alex Albon at late notice.
He scored points in that event, contributing significantly to his signing with Scuderia AlphaTauri for 2023.
Five races into the year, he’s yet to beat his team-mate in a race – the first measure of a driver’s performance.
As a result, de Vries is not surprised that his future is already being discussed.
“It’s not a shock to me. It’s normal. It’s this industry – it’s always been like that in Red Bull and in Formula 1,” he said.
“I genuinely believe that it’s not different than earlier in the season.
“You’ve always got to perform, you’ve always got to deliver, and it’s been like that throughout my whole career.
“As a driver, you always kind of fight for your survival,” he added.
“You always need to deliver to continue your career forward successfully.”
Waiting in the wings, Red Bull has Daniel Ricciardo as third driver, while Liam Lawson is next in line when it comes to the brand’s junior drivers.
Lawson is racing in Super Formula in Japan, where he has two wins from four starts and leads the championship.
“You might not believe me when I say it, but I honestly don’t think there is more pressure than there is any other time,” de Vries said of his predicament.
“The only difference in Formula 1 is you have a lot more noise around.
“And especially when there’s a bit of a gap, there is more speculation and talking.
“That is probably the biggest difference relative to any other championship.
“Ultimately, if I do my job on track, then I know that I’ll be able to continue my career forward successfully,” he added.
“That’s always how I’ve lived and always how it’s been. That’s the way it is.”Sign up here to receive our daily newsletters and breaking news alerts, sent straight to your inbox.
Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section
Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]