“I'd been through it less than a year earlier”: Daniel Ricciardo 'feels sorry' for Nyck de Vries' F1 stint coming to a premature end
AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo made a sensational comeback to the F1 grid this season, but it came at the expense of rookie driver Nyck de Vries, whose maiden season lasted 10 races.
Following his lackluster two-year stint at McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo was replaced by his fellow Aussie driver Oscar Piastri, while Ricciardo took a hiatus from F1. He was then reunited with Red Bull, serving as the reserve driver for the 2023 season.
The former McLaren driver's hiatus was shortlived as he was called up to replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri, who had failed to make an impression in the first half of the season. The Dutchman lost his seat after 10 rounds, with Ricciardo taking up the duties from the Hungarian GP.
The 34-year-old recently sympathized with De Vries' short-lived rookie season in a conversation with Tom Clarkson, in the F1: Beyond the Grid podcast. When the Aussie was questioned if he felt sorry for Nyck de Vries, he replied:
"Yes, because I'd been through it less than a year earlier. I understood it, you know, but it's all very subjective. Did he have enough time? Maybe not. Were his results good enough? Maybe not. But maybe it's just what I've been through, and I’m in my mid-thirties now, we've all put so much into this and I know Nyck has put so much into his career," he said (30:25).
Speaking about the reversal of fortunes for De Vries, Daniel Ricciardo added:
"Obviously, he finally got a chance and it didn't work out. Six months earlier, he's probably the most excited he's ever been to start a race season. Six months later, he doesn't have a race season. So I feel for him and anyone in that position, because your dream can start and ultimately kind of finish or be derailed in a short amount of time."
Nyck de Vries' days in F1 might be over, but he continues to rebuild his career in other racing categories. The 28-year-old will be racing in the Formula E championship with Mahindra Racing in 2024 and has joined Toyota's WEC program.
Daniel Ricciardo aiming for a Red Bull reunion before retirement
Daniel Ricciardo is set to continue with the rebranded AlphaTauri team for the upcoming season. However, Ricciardo is aiming for a drive at the senior team, as he hopes to retire as a Red Bull driver.
The eight-time race winner didn't put a timeline on his reunion with Red Bull, but admitted it would be 'perfect' to end his career with his former team (2014-18).
"I'm not even going to put a day, or date on it, or year, whatever. I think coming back into it and jumping back in with the Red Bull family, doing the test in July, all these things, working with Simon again, that's really the dream. Honestly, to end my career as a Red Bull driver would be perfect. Not that I'm looking at the end, but if I go back there, then I'll certainly make sure I finish there," he concluded in the podcast.