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Red Bull knocked out the world champion after 10 races. What does this mean for the F1 market?

Date: April 19, 2024 Time: 02:48:58

The Formula 1 squad did not remain unchanged, not only until the end of the season, but even until the summer holidays. Already at the next Hungarian Grand Prix, Nick de Vries will give up his place in the Alpha Tauri cockpit to Daniel Ricciardo. Is such a quick decision from Red Bull fair and what does it mean for the future compositions of both bull teams?

Why was de Vries fired?

The arrival of Nick de Vries at Alpha Tauri initially seemed, if not a gamble, then a risky decision, one that the team made partly out of desperation. Red Bull agreed to “sell” the rights to Pierre Gasly to Alpin, failed to get Colton Herta into Formula 1 (by the way, there are doubts that the American would have performed better than De Vries) and then drew attention to the Dutchman. .

De Vries was incredibly lucky that exactly at the Italian Grand Prix he replaced Alex Albon in the Williams team and took advantage of the excellent top speed of the British car, driving into the points, after which Dr. Marco quickly added Nick.

Red Bull had very high expectations of de Vries: after all, a driver with many years of experience at Mercedes, a Formula 2 and Formula E champion, an endurance race conqueror, a former karting dominator, came to them. .. In short, the champion of everything in the world. The Bulls believed that despite a lack of “combat” experience in F-1, Nick could quickly become the leader of Alpha Tauri. And if all goes well, in time, De Vries may become Red Bull’s main team and form an all-Dutch duo with his friend Max Verstappen.

Unfortunately, the reality turned out to be much harsher. On unknown tracks De Vries got lost, and the weak form of the new Alpha Tauri car only exacerbated Nick’s situation. At the same time, his teammate Yuki Tsunoda for the third season in F-1 made a qualitative step forward and was constantly ahead of de Vries. In addition, the return to the tracks familiar to Nick did not lead to the desired progress. And Red Bull quickly realized that they did not find a diamond in the rookie’s face.

Numerous ultimatums from the “bulls” did not help De Vries’ motivation in any way, they did not add speed. So Nick’s romance with Formula 1 turned out to be short-lived. On the other hand, he should be glad that he at least got the chance and drove half a season; A lot of people don’t understand that either. Well, now it’s time to get back to where De Vries has already found success: in endurance racing and Formula E.

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Why did they take Ricardo?

Even when Red Bull first took Daniel on as a reserve driver, it was clear the Australian had only one F-1 career left: get a place in the Alpha Tauri, prove himself and after that, God willing. , return to Red Bull. “. Dan did his best to get to work on the bull simulator. Ricciardo managed to get rid of the “bad habits” that he acquired in unsuccessful attempts to adapt to the “McLaren”. Daniel showed the engineers that he was back on track. form, and when Red Bull became disillusioned with De Vries, they decided to take another look at Ricciardo in fighting condition.

The last test for Daniel could be the Pirelli tire tests, which are taking place these days at Silverstone. It is interesting that the rumors about the dismissal of De Vries arose after Riccardo worked the first half of the day, as if Red Bull wanted to see at least a few circles of Daniel in the current car and then they sent Nick home with full confidence. .

According to F1 press journalist Lawrence Baretto, Ricciardo showed good speed during testing: his best lap was fast enough for the Australian to be on the front row of the grid at the British Grand Prix. However, you have to understand that comparing actual tests and grades, as well as the conditions on Saturday and Tuesday, is strange. In any case, Red Bull was satisfied, although some fans filmed Riccardo’s turn in one of the laps.

But what about the youth of Red Bull?

In fact, of the bulls’ entire pool of young talent, only Liam Lawson is now ready to move on to Formula 1. The New Zealander made his successful debut in the difficult Super Formula, where he took two wins in five races and sits in second place. in the individual ranking. But before that, Lawson spent two good, but not outstanding, seasons in Formula 2. If Liam had fired for real, he would have been signed a year ago, not De Vries. So Lawson missed out on him himself.

Well, the current Red Bull drivers in Formula 2 aren’t good enough yet. Ayumu Iwasa ranks third in the individual ranking, but combines good performances with absolutely mediocre ones. Enzo Fittipaldi and Dennis Hauger are average in their second full season on the series, while Zane Maloney and Isak Hajjar clearly need time to adjust, which is F-1.

A Spaniard also claimed a place in Alpha Tauri:

America’s top star is trying to break into Formula 1. Cool win or new mistake?

What will happen now in 2024?

In the official press release, Ricciardo’s signing at Alfa Tauri is called on loan, and until the end of the 2023 season. However, as you understand, no one bothers to extend this lease for another year if necessary.

Now Red Bull’s tactic is roughly as follows. The remainder of the season will allow the Bulls to assess the potential of both Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda. If the Australian at the end of the year is inferior to the Japanese in terms of pace, this is the end of Dan’s formula career: it makes sense to keep him even in the second team, if it is clear that he is no longer on top. at the level of the first.

Our writer was against Daniel’s return:

Riccardo in Alpha Tauri is a bad idea. What’s wrong with Dan’s possible return?

If Riccardo, on the other hand, defeats Tsunoda, despite a lack of tests and a comeback during the championship, then this is a serious blow to Yuki’s career. In this case, Red Bull can bet on a complete renewal of the second team and form the Ricciardo-Lawson duo by 2024, or even take a chance on the signing of IndyCar champion Alex Palou.

Finally, if Riccardo returns like a king, and Sergio Pérez continues to fail in the qualifications, then we will not be surprised at all to break the contract with the Mexican. Yes, Checo’s deal with Red Bull is valid until the end of the 2024 season, but Pérez himself remembers very well what contracts mean in Formula 1. And Christian Horner will easily explain his current words that nothing threatens the future. from Sergio. Like, yes, in July he was not threatened, but in December the situation became different: c’est la vie.

All in all, Red Bull has taken an important step that will allow the Bulls, by the end of 2023, to have a better understanding of their driver strategy for the next two seasons.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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