Alpha Tauri team boss Franz Tost admits Formula 1 rookie Nyck de Vries is “under pressure” to perform in 2023.
Russian racing driver Egor Orudzhev observed last week that if the 28-year-old Dutchman doesn’t up his game soon, “I think Helmut Marko will fire him”.
Indeed, de Vries has had a troubled start to his first full season on the grid, often crashing or clearly trailing the pace of teammate Yuki Tsunoda.
In Miami, he finished 18th compared to Tsunoda’s 11th.
“In itself, Nyck’s performance was not that bad,” boss Tost, explaining that de Vries needed an unscheduled pitstop for a flat-spot, is quoted by the Dutch publication Formule 1.
When asked if he is satisfied with de Vries performance so far in F1, he added: “Satisfied is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration.
“But I have always said that it is not easy for newcomers to Formula 1 – especially the first races.
“We go to Imola, Monaco and Barcelona now, where he has more experience with those circuits. If we can improve the car then Nyck will probably move further up.”
But when told that de Vries should be doing better than finishing seven places behind the sister car, Tost insisted: “We can’t forget that all the cars finished in Miami.
“If the top teams all finish, it will of course be difficult for us to score point.”
As for whether de Vries is finding himself under a lot of pressure just six races into his Formula 1 career, Tost agreed: “In Formula 1 you are always under pressure.”