Nyck de Vries will not re-fire his Formula 1 career with Red Bull.
That is the clear message from Christian Horner, who admits he was never supportive of Dr Helmut Marko’s decision to sign de Vries to Alpha Tauri for 2023.
The 28-year-old Dutchman has now been ousted for poor performance and replaced by Daniel Ricciardo, with de Vries reportedly set to commence a leadership course at Harvard later this year.
But when Ricciardo broke his hand at Zandvoort on Friday, de Vries’ manager Guillaume Le Goff immediately told the Dutch publication Formule 1: “Nyck is available to fill in.”
However, Red Bull opted instead to promote reserve driver Liam Lawson.
“Nyck is a good driver with experience,” Red Bull boss Horner told NOS when asked about de Vries on Friday.
“But if you look at him as a 28-year-old prospect, as a junior driver, I didn’t see that. The goal is to train drivers.
“I am hopeful that a good driver like him can have a great career,” Horner said.
“He’s a Formula E champion, so I’m sure he will have opportunities in other categories.”
As for whether de Vries has a shot at returning to Formula 1, however, Horner has bad news.
“Never say never,” said the Briton, “but not at Red Bull.
“Maybe at Mercedes – he knows Toto Wolff very well. Perhaps he can arrange a seat for him.”