A surprising move resulted in FIA Formula 2 and Formula E champion Nyck De Vries being cut from the Red Bull team, only 10 races into his debut full-time Formula 1 season. Daniel Ricciardo was chosen over de Vries for a comeback stint. According to Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, de Vries fell short of impressing them with his performance compared to team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.
Reflecting on the abrupt end to his F1 stint, de Vries took to social media, saying: “Of course, it hurts that the F1 chance I dreamed of for so long ended prematurely. 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.”
Looking to his future, Mercedes F1 engineering director Andrew Shovlin announced that de Vries, 28, from the Netherlands, would be “welcome” to return to the Brackley team in a reserve role. However, Shovlin believes de Vries is more likely to seek a return to a frontline race seat.
Responding to F1 Initiative’s question regarding whether there would be room for de Vries at Mercedes, Shovlin said: “I think Nyck will be looking for more than just to become a simulator driver so he’ll want to be doing racing. I’ve only spoken to him by text, and he said he’ll let me know how his plans are coming on.”
Andrew Shovlin added that de Vries wasn’t just useful for them, but also would be heartily welcomed back. He said, “He was certainly very useful for us in that role and would be welcome to get him back in that role. But I suspect his focus will be on finding race seats.”
“If it’s not in Formula 1, in some other big and competitive series. He’s clearly very talented: an F2 champion, a Formula E champion, which is a very difficult series to win. He’ll be looking back to get into a winning seat again,” Shovlin said.
With Mercedes, de Vries secured his Formula E title and from 2020-22, he had been contracted with the F1 team as a test and reserve driver. In addition, he was slated to stand in for powertrain customer teams including Williams, Aston Martin, and McLaren.
However, despite being overshadowed by health issues, de Vries managed to shine during his time with Williams, securing ninth place in the 2022 Italian Grand Prix. Since de Vries’ departure, Mercedes introduced former Haas driver Mick Schumacher to test the W14 and undertake most of the team’s simulator work.