Motor racing-‘Hurt’ de Vries breaks silence after AlphaTauri exit

(Reuters) – Nyck de Vries spoke on Wednesday of his hurt at losing his AlphaTauri Formula One seat to Australian Daniel Ricciardo after only 10 races and before he got a chance to race at his home Dutch Grand Prix.

The 28-year-old was dropped by the Red Bull-owned team last week and replaced by eight times grand prix winner Ricciardo, 34, who had been filling a reserve role since leaving McLaren at the end of last year.

“Of course, it hurts that the F1 chance I dreamed of for so long ended prematurely,” de Vries wrote on Instagram in his first public comment on the dismissal.

“But life is not a destination, it’s a journey, and sometimes you have to take the hard road to get where you want to be.

“I am grateful for our privileged lives, proud of our journey and my family. This is just another experience; we move on and look forward to the next chapter.”

The comments came a day after Red Bull team boss Christian Horner provided more details of the decision to bring back former Red Bull racer Ricciardo ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.

“There was a high expectation on him (de Vries) because whilst inexperienced in Formula One he’s obviously a very experienced driver,” said Horner of the 2021 Formula E champion and 2019 F2 champion.

“I think there was a general feeling that Nyck wasn’t quite hitting the mark. And then the question was ‘What are the options if we were to switch things around?,'” he told the F1 Nation podcast.

Horner said Ricciardo’s post-British Grand Prix tyre test provided compelling evidence and Red Bull motorsport head Helmut Marko had called de Vries to tell him the bad news.

“It all happened a little quicker than expected, bearing in mind we hadn’t completed the test,” said Horner.

“He (Marko) was the one who had recruited him and he was the one who spoke with Nyck on about lap 11 of the test I think.”

Horner confirmed he had not wanted to sign de Vries in the first place.

“He’s not a young driver… I just didn’t see how it fitted within the junior programme. It was always a stopgap,” he explained.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)

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