Vettel unhappy with 'harsh and brutal' treatment of de Vries


Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has described the way his old team has treated Nyck de Vries as "brutal", after the rookie driver was abruptly dropped by the AlphaTauri F1 team this week.

De Vries had struggled in his first ten races this year and failed to score any points - in contrast to the two points he picked up in his solo outing last year as a last minute stand-in for Alex Albon at the Italian GP.

But the decision to pull the pin and replace him with Daniel Ricciardo with immediate effect in Hungary next weekend was still a shock - and Vettel isn't a fan of the move.

"It's obviously a shame for Nyck, the way it comes to an end. I think he was given a great chance," said Vettel, who drove for AlphaTauri's former incarnation as Toro Rosso, before winning his titles with the senior Red Bull team.

"Maybe things didn't happen for him the way he expected, or people expected," he told British broadcaster ITV in an interview at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. "But it's also a bit harsh when it comes to a very sudden stop like that. It's brutal.”

"I met him last year for the first time and he seemed like a really good person, and he is a good driver,” Vettel continued. "He won the F2 championship, he won international championships, so he's well recognised

"I hope that this doesn't give a dent to his career," he added. "People tend to do that, and that's not right. He is still a very good driver.

“Maybe those five, ten races whatever didn't go according to how good they could have been. We don't know why," he admitted. "I have to sympathise with the fact it's very harsh for him, and I hope that people don't see that dent.”


That said, Vettel said he was happy to see his former team mate Daniel Ricciardo get a chance to make a rapid return to F1 after splitting with McLaren at the end of 2022.

“I'm very happy for Daniel, very happy," said Vettel. "I like him, obviously I raced with him, and I met him at the test when I was shaking down the McLaren for this weekend. And I'm very, very happy for him."

Vettel is present this weekend at Goodwood's Festival of Speed, running up the hill in his Williams FW14B and in his ex-Ayrton Senna McLaren MP4/8, with both cars powered by special carbon-neutral fuel.

Unlike Ricciardo, the German has shown no signs of missing the sport - but revealed that he had been having some talks with the FIA about playing a role in its environmental strategy which is dear to his heart.

"We’ll see but I have some ideas,” he said in Goodwood. "I’ve been to Monaco earlier this year. I had a very good meeting with Stefano," he added, referring to Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“Other than obviously the cars directly polluting, F1 has a huge responsibility because it’s a very big event," he pointed out. “A lot of people attend, I think you had around 500,000 people at the British GP last weekend.

"So there’s a lot more to it than just the cars, but obviously the cars, everybody sees them," he said. “It’s important that it’s headed in the right direction.

"But I’m talking, and I have some ideas. Obviously, we’ll see what the future brings," he says, acknowledging that he'd been fielding many offers since he retired from driving. “There’s lots of interest from different angles.

"But I set myself the goal last year that I want to be free, and I say no to a lot of things in the first place," he said. "I want to get to know this version of myself, that doesn’t have let’s say a fixed schedule and is able to look into different things and get inspired.

“That’s still the journey I’m on. I’m spending a lot of time with my kids as well. We’ve done a bit of travelling as well in the van so I do enjoy that," he insisted. "But sooner or later I will probably figure it out and take on a new challenge."

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