Four-times Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel says he has sympathy with Nyck de Vries in the wake of the Dutchman’s “brutal” sacking by AlphaTauri.
De Vries was recruited by AlphaTauri for 2023 in the wake of his points-scoring performance as a stand-in at Williams in Italy last year.
De Vries endured a fraught start to his rookie campaign, trailing team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, and rumours regularly abounded over his long-term future with the outfit.
On Tuesday de Vries was released with immediate effect and replaced by Vettel’s former Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Speaking to ITV ahead of his demonstration run in the McLaren MP4/8 at Sunday’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, Vettel said: “I’m very happy for Daniel, I like him, I raced with him, and met him at the test [at Silverstone] when I was shaking down the McLaren for this weekend.”
“On the other hand you have to be honest it is a shame for Nyck the way it comes to an end.
“I think he was given a great chance, maybe things didn’t happen for him the way he expected or people expected, but it’s also a bit harsh when it comes to a very sudden stop like that, it’s brutal.”
Vettel went on to assert that de Vries’ entire career should not be judged by his 10-race spell at AlphaTauri.
“I met Nyck last year and he seemed like a really good person, and he is a good driver, he won the F2 championship, international championships, so he is well recognised,” said Vettel.
“I hope this sort of dent doesn’t give a dent to his career, as people shouldn’t look at [that], people tend to do that, and it’s not right.
“Maybe those whatever five, 10 races didn’t go according to how good they could have been, we don’t know why from the outside, and he’s still a very good driver.
“I have to also sympathise with the fact it’s very harsh for him.”