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Hamilton: De Vries sacking “how Red Bull works” in F1

Lewis Hamilton has said the early dismissal of Nyck de Vries from his AlphaTauri Formula 1 seat was typical of “how Red Bull works”.

Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, leads Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, leads Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

James Sutton / Motorsport Images

De Vries was sacked by Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko last week after a disappointing first half to the 2023 campaign.

His axing is the latest in the long line of mid-season swaps by Red Bull, with the Dutchman being replaced by Daniel Ricciardo from this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

PLUS: The five challenges between Ricciardo and Perez's Red Bull F1 seat

Hamilton, who worked with de Vries when he was a Mercedes reserve driver in 2021 and 2022, made it clear that he felt the move to replace him before the summer break was premature.

Asked if he felt that de Vries was dropped too early, Hamilton said: “Yes. But that's how Red Bull do it.”

Pushed on whether there was an aspect of it being how F1 works, in being tough on rookies, Hamilton added: “You can say that's how Red Bull works.”

While Hamilton felt that Red Bull's move had been hasty, he maintained faith that de Vries' racing career was far from over despite the setback.

“I was definitely surprised to see the decision for poor Nyck,” said Hamilton.

“He's such a talented young man, and such a nice guy as well. I think the future is still bright for him and he will have lots of great options for the future.”

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

De Vries’ exit from F1 has opened an opportunity for Ricciardo, whose return is no surprise for Hamilton based on how ingrained he has been in F1 weekends so far this season.

“He has been here all year,” said Hamilton. “He's been in every drivers' briefing this year.

“He was in the drivers’ briefings, but not been actually competing, which is rare. You don't normally see a reserve driver in the drivers' briefing, but I think I'm not surprised to see him back.”

De Vries is the latest driver who has been the victim of a mid-season driver shuffle at Red Bull, although these have typically revolved around the energy drink company’s main team.

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In recent years, Daniil Kvyat lost his Red Bull seat in a swap with Max Verstappen in 2016, while Pierre Gasly was swapped for Alex Albon in 2019.

Albon lasted until the end of the 2020 season and moved into a third driver role with Red Bull before making a successful racing return with Williams in 2022.

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