Nyck de Vries is having a miserable 2023. The reason he was chosen over the other candidates is because of his outstanding performance in the Italian GP last season with Williams. He has also driven in other categories, having won Formula E. It’s fair to say, however, that his 2023 season has been a very bad one with multiple crashes. Reports are circulating that he is being considered for replacement by Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo moved from Red Bull to Renault in 2018. He was able to do well, even though the machines were always in midfield. He hoped this would change when he joined McLaren. It didn’t. He struggled a lot, especially compared to his Lando norris teammate. He was defeated in both 2021 and 2022, but especially so in 2022. He’s now back at Red Bull as a driver, but a third one.
De Vries was widely expected to be the team leader. However, Yuki Tusunoda clearly has been superior. The Dutchman faces increasing pressure from AlphaTauri. Some reports even claim that he was given an ultimatum by AlphaTauri to improve his performance before the Spanish GP. Ricciardo will replace him if he fails to improve.
According to ESPN, de Vries’ replacement is unlikely to be the Australian driver. Liam Lawson is the frontrunner, who currently races in Super Formula for Mugen. Lawson would have been the frontrunner for the seat if it wasn’t for de Vries’ heroics at Monza. AlphaTauri also brought de Vries on board because they didn’t get a super licence exemption for Colton Herta.
Daniel Ricciardo had a seat fitted with AlphaTauri
It is highly unlikely that Daniel Ricciardo will get a seat at AlphaTauri for a number of reasons. First, he wants to be back with a team that is in the lead. Second, he will be 34 years old this year. AlphaTauri drivers tend to be young, and the team is more of a development team for Red Bull. The RB management has also made it clear that the Australian driver is only with them in a reserve role, and there are no plans to offer him a seat at a later date.
According to some reports, he was also in Faenza where AlphaTauri’s headquarters are located. ESPN reports that he was in Miami for a seat fitting, but he didn’t visit Faenza. According to the publication, he was in Europe for the weddings of Scotty James and Chloe Stroll, two of his close friends. She is Lance Stroll’s sister, as you might know.
Nyck de Vries could still turn things around. If not, then it appears that Liam Lawson will be his replacement. When his Super Formula duties do not interfere, the New Zealander is already a Red Bull reserve driver. He’s a very exciting prospect. It’s unlikely that Ricciardo would return to AlphaTauri, even though fans would love it.