Just four races into his first full-time season in Formula 1, Nyck de Vries is already at risk of being “fired”.
That is the view of a well-known Russian racing driver Egor Orudzhev, echoing the worries of other experts and pundits who agree that the 28-year-old Dutchman is notably struggling at Alpha Tauri.
At Baku, for instance, he crashed out of both qualifying and the race.
“Completely my fault, completely my responsibility,” de Vries told De Telegraaf newspaper. “A very stupid and unnecessary mistake.
“I can only look at myself and can’t point at anyone else, so I have to bear the consequences.”
On his points tally, the consequences are clear – fellow rookie Logan Sargeant aside, de Vries is the only other driver yet to score a single point in 2023.
“I’m not going to make excuses,” he insisted. “In English they say ‘when it rains, it pours’. Fortunately there is already another race now in Miami.”
Former F1 driver and Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers, however, thinks de Vries needs to up his game quite urgently.
“If Alonso or Hamilton does it, they are forgiven right away,” he told NOS. “They also have a reputation for not doing that sort of thing, but for Nyck it’s the last thing he needs.
“It’s a merciless world,” Lammers insisted, “and the truth is that the car was good enough for a point. So when it’s good enough for a point and you don’t score, when will you score then?
“He had a chance to perform well and he doesn’t.”
Last year, de Vries was the reserve driver at Mercedes, who in Lammers’ words then benefitted from “a stroke of luck” when Williams needed a last-minute replacement at Monza.
“At Monza, he had the fastest car on the straight which was his stroke of luck to draw attention to himself,” said Lammers. “It’s why he got this seat.
He is not so much putting pressure on myself now, but I think the pressure is coming from Franz Tost and Helmut Marko,” he added.
And according to Russian racing driver Egor Orudzhev, de Vries is already at risk of incurring top Red Bull official Dr Marko’s wrath.
If it goes on like this, then I think Helmut Marko will fire him,” he told Russia’s Championat.
“Honestly, I expected that the results would be better and Nyck would be closer to (Yuki) Tsunoda. But so far it’s been a complete failure.”