F1 Team Axes Driver ‘With Immediate Effect’ Just Before The Hungarian Grand Prix

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Formula One team Scuderia AlphaTauri sensationally fired one of its drivers this Tuesday, July 11.

Dutchman Nyck de Vries has failed to score a single point for the Italian racing team so far in this season’s campaign. As a result, a decision was made and he has immediately been replaced by the Australian driver, Daniel Ricciardo, as announced on the team’s official Twitter account.

In an official statement, Franz Tost, the Scuderia AlphaTauri Team Principal said: ‘I’m very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team. There’s no doubt about his driving skills, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straightforward.

He added: ‘The team will also profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner. I would like to thank Nyck for his valuable contribution during his time with Scuderia AlphaTauri and I wish him all the best for the future’. Daniel responded: ‘I’m stoked to be back on track with the Red Bull family!’.

The 34-year-old veteran was released by McLaren at the end of last season and failed to secure a drive for 2023. He subsequently landed a job as the reserve driver for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

During his spell with Red Bull between 2014 and 2017, Ricciardo took the chequered flag on five occasions. AlphaTauri and Red Bull are both owned by Red Bull Racing so his move into De Vries’ seat is hardly a shock under the circumstances.

De Vries started half of this season’s races in 17th position or lower and also had one retirement. His promotion to a full seat on the team only happened this season yet now he is gone after only 10 outings for AlphaTauri.

Previously, the 28-year-old had been either a reserve or test driver for Aston Martin, McLaren and Mercedes. It would appear to be a very ruthless move on behalf of Helmut Marko the team chief considering his Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda has also only scored two points, although he outpaced De Vries in nine of the 10 races.

‘We spoke to De Vries and he agrees with us, he needs to improve. The gap to team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, who is doing a great job, is too big’, Marko told F1 Insider back in May.

He continued: ‘To use footballer jargon, Nick has a yellow card but not the red one yet. If he improves, a driver change will not be an issue’.

The Hungarian Grand Prix will be his first race

Ricciardo must now prepare himself mentally for the Hungarian Grand Prix which takes place on Sunday, July 23. His last competitive race was a ninth-placed finish for McLaren last November 20 last year, in Abu Dhabi.

He ended that 2022 campaign a massive 85 points behind his British teammate Lando Norris. It is highly unlikely that behind the wheel of an AlphaTauri he will add to his career total of eight Grand Prix victories, but it will be great to see Ricciardo back in F1 action.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com