Nyck De Vries speaks out as Daniel Ricciardo '11-lap' detail comes to light

The Dutch driver has broken his silence over the Daniel Ricciardo F1 bombshell.

Pictured left to right, F1 drivers Nyck De Vries and Daniel Ricciardo.
Nyck De Vries was only given 11 laps of tyre testing at Silverstone before being ultimately replaced by Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri. Pic: Getty

Nyck De Vries has broken his silence over the bombshell turn of events that culminated in Daniel Ricciardo's stunning F1 return, and the 11 laps that ultimately consigned the Dutch driver to the scrapheap. Fans were left in a frenzy earlier this month when AlphaTauri announced Ricciardo was returning to the Formula One grid for the rest of the season, at the expense of the struggling De Vries.

Ricciardo had been a reserve driver for Red Bull in 2023 and impressed so much during the Pirelli tyre test at Silverstone after the British Grand Prix, that the UK-based giant decided to loan him to their sister team AlphaTauri for the remainder of the year. It meant Nyck De Vries was sensationally axed after just 10 races in his rookie season - having been sitting dead-last in the driver standings.

EMBARRASSING: Daniel Ricciardo photo shredded by F1 fans

'GUTTING': Oscar Piastri denied stunning F1 first in British GP drama

One week on from his brutal dumping, the 28-year-old Dutch driver has taken to social media to speak out about the unfortunate situation. De Vries admits "it hurts" to see his F1 dream end so abruptly but says he's grateful of being afforded the opportunity to drive for AlphaTauri and overwhelmed by the support he's received.

Former AlphaTauri F1 driver Nyck De Vries is seen here at the British Grand Prix. Pic: Getty
Former AlphaTauri F1 driver Nyck De Vries is seen here at the British Grand Prix. Pic: Getty

“After recent events, I decided to take some time for myself away from social media, which I will continue to do," he wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri for the opportunity to live my dream.

“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.

“I am grateful for our privileged lives, proud of our journey and my family. This is just another experience, we move on and look forward to the next chapter.

“Thank you to everyone for your kind and encouraging messages in the past week. It’s been heartwarming to feel your support.”

Nyck De Vries future decided after 11 laps of testing

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has since revealed that De Vries was ultimately replaced by Ricciardo after a stunning 11-lap development during the Aussie's impressive tyre testing at Silverstone. Ricciardo was reportedly registering lap times that would have been competitive at the British Grand Prix, forcing Red Bull supremo Helmut Marko to have a tough conversation with De Vries.

“It all happened a little quicker than expected, bearing in mind we hadn’t completed the test,” Horner told the F1 Nation podcast. “Helmut spoke with Nyck – you know, he was the one that obviously had recruited him – so he was the one that spoke with Nyck about lap 11 of the test, I think.

“It was becoming obviously a difficult situation for Nyck, but there was a high expectation on him because, whilst inexperienced in Formula 1, he’s obviously a very experienced driver. I think there was a general feeling that Nyck wasn’t quite hitting the mark. And then the question was, what are the options if we were to switch things around?

“The situation was clear. It was a question of, ‘Okay, what’s the point in waiting?’ That would have meant obviously leaving him in the car until after the summer break."

Daniel Ricciardo return puts pressure on Red Bull's Sergio Perez

Ricciardo's form in tyre testing and experience in F1 ultimately made it an easy decision for Red Bull. “If we’ve got to do something, we might as well get on with it and give Daniel 12 races to see what he’s capable of, Horner added. “From a Red Bull Racing perspective, the most interesting option for me was to see how Daniel performs. So that was the decision that was made."

Horner has heaped pressure on Sergio Perez by suggesting Ricciardo could replace the Spanish driver at Red Bull when his contract expires at the end of 2024. Perez's form has slumped in 2024 after a strong start to the season, leaving Ricciardo with an opportunity to stamp his case.

"Daniel firmly wants to be pitching for that 2025 Red Bull (seat)," Horner told the official F1 Nation Hungarian GP preview podcast. "That's his golden objective, and by going to Alpha Tauri he sees that as his best route of stating his case.

"At the moment, there's only something in place until the end of the season. We've loaned him to Alpha Tauri to the end of the year. Our drivers are going to be Max and Checo (Perez) again next year, but it's always good to have talent in reserve."

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.