Sky Sports F1 Podcast: Do Red Bull treat their junior drivers fairly after Nyck de Vries is dropped for Daniel Ricciardo

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Nyck de Vries’ sudden dismissal from AlphaTauri for Daniel Ricciardo was the latest driver change to bring questions about Red Bull’s handling of their drivers.

De Vries joined AlphaTauri at the start of this year after impressing in a one-off appearance for Williams at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, where he outqualified team-mate Nicholas Latifi and finished ninth.

But he was regularly beaten by Yuki Tsunoda in the opening 10 races of this season and Red Bull have elected to replace him with Ricciardo ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix – live on Sky Sports F1, with Sky F1 Juniors coverage on Sky Showcase and Sky Sports Mix.

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Jaime Alguersuari drove for Toro Rosso, now known as AlphaTauri, from 2009 to 2011 but was dropped at the end of the season despite beating team-mate Sebastien Buemi and scoring seven top 10 finishes.

“The way they [Red Bull] act is sometimes not fair. What they did with me and Buemi was not a very generous, sporting manner to get rid of two drivers,” Alguersuari explained on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast.

“It was not decided on results, it was decided on commercial and other interesting things. But that’s the way F1 works and you have to accept it.

“But, I had a good time with them and I enjoyed every single moment. But even the pressure moments are fine. If you cannot deal with the pressure, you cannot deal with the moment you have a winning car and are about to become world champion. You have to deliver.

Helmut Marko speaks to Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi in 2011, two drivers he dropped at the end of that year

Helmut Marko speaks to Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi in 2011, two drivers he dropped at the end of that year

“I agree with the way they work. I just don’t agree with how sometimes they apply things to some drivers. If you don’t deliver results and are not where you should be, they have the right to get you out because they are asking you for the best.”

On De Vries dismissal, Alguersuari added: “He had very little races to show his total performance. I’m sure there was much more coming from Nyck. If there was no growth of performance from the first race to the last, they have the right to do that [to be dropped].

“At the end of the day, F1 is about beating your team-mate. He has the same tools as you. My whole goal when I was at Toro Rosso was about beating my team-mate, making sure I ended the season with more points than him. That was the only way I could provide money to my team. Money means delivering results.”

Alguersuari says Red Bull junior team is not successful right now

Red Bull have provided the most opportunities to F1 drivers over the last 15 years compared to other teams that have academy setups, including Ferrari, Mercedes and Alpine.

Prior to De Vries, Pierre Gasly was the most recent Red Bull driver to be demoted mid-season after he struggled against Max Verstappen and was placed back at AlphaTauri.

Alex Albon replaced the Frenchman but also didn’t impress in the main team, which forced Red Bull to go outside of their own stable to recruit a new team-mate for Verstappen. They chose Sergio Perez but Alguersuari thinks it’s a sign that proves Red Bull are currently struggling for talent.

Ted Kravitz says Daniel Ricciardo could challenge Sergio Perez for his Red Bull spot next season if he's able to prevent Alpha Tauri from finishing last in the Constructor's Championship

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Ted Kravitz says Daniel Ricciardo could challenge Sergio Perez for his Red Bull spot next season if he’s able to prevent Alpha Tauri from finishing last in the Constructor’s Championship

Ted Kravitz says Daniel Ricciardo could challenge Sergio Perez for his Red Bull spot next season if he’s able to prevent Alpha Tauri from finishing last in the Constructor’s Championship

“The fact that Perez is driving for Red Bull shows the Red Bull junior team is not successful. The whole idea they told us and the media is they are building champions, or the best drivers they can, to give them an opportunity to drive for AlphaTauri in order for them to get experience,” he explained.

“For them to go somewhere else to find a driver at Red Bull is already controversial. It doesn’t make sense. You are spending millions for years for many drivers to become champions in junior categories, to then go into F1, give them very little chance and cross your fingers you have a good car – otherwise you do nothing in F1 if you don’t have a good car – you are at the back, then cross your fingers you drive for a winning car, which is Red Bull.”

Not acceptable to be half a second behind team-mate

Perez has struggled recently, missing out on Q3 in the last five events and taking just one podium in that same period. Meanwhile, team-mate Verstappen is on a streak of six race victories.

Christian Horner confirmed a Perez and Verstappen line-up remains the plan for Red Bull next year, although Alguersuari has called on the Mexican to improve.

After working with both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri Performance Coach Michael Italiano discusses the differences between the pair. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now

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After working with both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri Performance Coach Michael Italiano discusses the differences between the pair. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now

After working with both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri Performance Coach Michael Italiano discusses the differences between the pair. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now

“I have huge respect to Checo. I raced with him in F3 and other racing series. I know him really well and the job he has now is very difficult. Max is an extraordinary driver, probably the best in the world right now, he knows the team and car. Checo is struggling big team but I know there is more to come.

“We have to be clear that Checo was never in the junior team. If he was, considering how Helmut Marko judges drivers, he would not have lasted a year.”

He added: “You have a winning car and have to use it. I know people will think, ‘what are you saying, your best place was seventh?’ I didn’t have a chance to drive a winning car and I’m just saying your first rival is your team-mate.

“It’s not acceptable that Perez is always half a second or seven tenths slower. If your team-mate is winning all the races, you have to at least be on the podium, not on your best day being on the podium. You have to be closer otherwise they have the right to replace you. There are many drivers on the grid that could definitely be much closer to Max.”

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Craig Slater has more information about Daniel Ricciardo's return to an F1 race seat, as he replaces Nyck De Vries for Alpha Tauri for the rest of the season

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Craig Slater has more information about Daniel Ricciardo’s return to an F1 race seat, as he replaces Nyck De Vries for Alpha Tauri for the rest of the season

Craig Slater has more information about Daniel Ricciardo’s return to an F1 race seat, as he replaces Nyck De Vries for Alpha Tauri for the rest of the season

Sky Sports F1’s live Hungarian GP schedule

Thursday July 20
2pm: Drivers’ press conference

Friday July 21
8:55am: F3 Practice
10am: F2 Practice
12pm: Hungarian GP Practice One (session starts 12:30pm)
2pm: F3 Qualifying
2:45pm: F2 Qualifying
3:40pm: Hungarian GP Practice Two (session starts 4pm)
5:15pm: The F1 Show

Saturday July 22
8:45am: F3 Sprint
11:15am: Hungarian GP Practice Three (session starts 11:30am)
1:10pm: F2 Sprint
2:15pm: Hungarian GP Qualifying build-up (Sky Showcase)
3pm: HUNGARIAN GP QUALIFYING (Sky Showcase)
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

Sunday July 23
7:20am: F3 Feature Race
9am: F2 Feature Race
11am: Porsche Supercup
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – Hungarian GP build-up
1:30pm: F1 Juniors: Hungarian Grand Prix (Sky Sports Mix and Sky Showcase)
2pm: The HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag: British GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook

Daniel Ricciardo’s return and first F1 Juniors broadcast headline the Hungarian Grand Prix! Watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1 from July 21-23. Get Sky Sports

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