F1 drivers welcome Daniel Ricciardo as he makes his return this weekend in Hungarian GP, while some of them also talk about Nyck de Vries.
The F1 drivers have reflected on the untimely departure of de Vries after Red Bull decided to drop the Dutchman after 10 races to replace him with Ricciardo at AlphaTauri. The drivers understand the tough call on the experienced campaigner.
Some are not hugely surprised even though they feel bad about the situation. At the same time, they are happy with the return of Ricciardo who was sidelined from racing after a tough stint with McLaren. He gets a good opportunity to showcase his mettle again.
Here’s what the F1 drivers said –
Max Verstappen: “Yeah, I spoke already quite a bit with Daniel last week. I could see he was very excited, also after driving our car. So yeah, of course, it’s great to have Daniel back on the grid and within the family. Of course, on the other side, I’m also good friends with Nyck, so it’s also sad to see him go but unfortunately that’s also how this world works. I don’t think there are any hard feelings between the drivers, that’s just how it goes. But yeah, you have to move on. There are a lot of other opportunities out there. It’s not only Formula 1 in this world of racing. So I’m sure everyone will land back on their feet like normal and yeah, you move on. And now the opportunity is here with Daniel again. He had his little reset, I think including Vegas, so I think he’s ready to go again. As for Nyck, it’s a tough one. But you know, if the decision was anyway, of course, already made, then I don’t think it really matters a lot when it happens. But I mean, I think it’s just circumstances. I think we all know that Nyck, you know, he’s an incredible driver. He’s shown that in every single category. And, you know, when the car’s a little bit difficult…
“And I think anyway, you know, this new generation of cars, when you’re a rookie, doesn’t matter of course, what age you are or whatever, they are quite difficult I think to get on top of. Plus that the car probably is not the most competitive, it all made it a bit harder. And then I think you just sometimes need these one or two moments where you shine. You know where you maybe get a point or two points and yeah, these kinds of moments they didn’t happen. And yeah, then the team wanted to change something. That’s also a part of Formula 1, it’s sometimes just the wrong time or the wrong moment when you’re there and it doesn’t work out for you. But again, people, sometimes they seem to [think] if it doesn’t work out in F1 everything is lost, but it’s not. I mean, there’s so many great categories out there where you can have a great career and probably even more fun than some places in Formula 1 even. So I know that he has a lot of opportunities. I mean, I spoke to him last week, we saw each other. And, yeah, he will definitely find his feet again with a great team somewhere and a great championship. So I don’t think it actually is the end of the world because like I said, in endurance as well, there’s so many great races that you can be part of.”
Pierre Gasly: “Yeah, we talked with Daniel a bit earlier last week and also with Nyck, obviously. I know them both. I think they’re two fantastic drivers. It’s great to see Daniel back on the grid and seeing what’s up for grabs with him. And obviously kind of sad to see Nyck going because I’ve known him for the past, probably 15 years. I just know he’s a great guy and his chance probably didn’t achieve as much as he would have liked, but I just want to wish him the best and as Max said, there’ll be plenty of opportunities out there for him.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “Yeah, I mean, a lot more smiles, a lot more teeth. You know, you can see there. It’s going to be interesting to see. I think there’s actually quite a strong race car [there and it] will be interesting to see what Danny can do with it. Obviously, he’s had now a good like eight or nine months out, a bit of a reset and, you know, to be out of the hot seat for a while I think is quite nice. I speak from experience. So he’s probably quite fresh and reset and ready to go. So I’m going to be exciting to see what he can do.
Lewis Hamilton: “Yes. But that’s how Red Bull do it. You can say that’s how Red Bull works. I was definitely surprised to see the decision for poor Nyck. 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. As for Daniel, he has been here all year. 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.”
Sergio Perez: “From my side, it doesn’t change anything, because like I’ve said, I drive for Red Bull. There’s not just Daniel out there, it’s Yuki [Tsunoda], more than half of the grid will love to drive for Red Bull. So it doesn’t change anything. I’ve been in F1 for 13 years so I’m not a guy that any more thinks so much further ahead. I’ve been with the engineers, so to be honest, I haven’t even had the time to discuss what’s going on with Daniel. I think it’s a great opportunity for him. And that’s it.
“I’m focusing on Hungary and then in Belgium, I’m not really thinking about 2025, it’s so far ahead. It’s nonsense to think that far away. I feel sorry for Nyck. He had a very short experience, it was quite brutal in that regard – it was a very short experience of F1. But you never know what the future will hold for him. And it’s just how it is, this is F1. It’s really hard to balance it out. Sometimes there are drivers that have a bit more time than others just because of circumstances. He was unlucky that Daniel was available.”
Yuki Tsunoda: “I think so. I think just 10 races, especially at a couple of tracks that he didn’t know, I think so. At the same time, I know what Red Bull’s side is, what they’re saying. But I think he deserved at least until probably the summer break. I was thinking like that. I told him what I felt and also appreciation to him and he gave me a very nice message back. So obviously we’re friends and I felt he was a really nice guy and a respectful person. I can respect a lot of things from him.”
Oscar Piastri: “I am very happy for him to be back. I remember watching when it was two Aussies last time around. So it’s very, very cool. We’re from a long way away and it’s pretty rare to have two of us at the same time. So from a country with such a small population relative to Europe. It’s very, very cool to have two of us on the big stage.”
Here’s Nyck de Vries taking time off
Here’s Yuki Tsunoda on working with Nyck de Vries
Here’s Christian Horner on Daniel Ricciardo, Nyck de Vries
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo on his F1 return with AlphaTauri
Here’s drivers reacting to Nyck de Vries getting out