#21 Nick De Vries, (NED) Alpha Tauri, Honda during the Austrian GP, Spielberg 29 June-2 July 2023 at the Red Bull Ring, Formula 1 World championship 2023.

F1: De Vries must improve F1 form ‘now’ – Marko

(GMM) Team owner Red Bull is still “closely” assessing the mediocre form so far of Alpha Tauri rookie Nyck de Vries.

It is clear the 28-year-old Dutchman is at risk of losing his race seat, after Dr Helmut Marko admitted Red Bull boss Christian Horner was right about de Vries perhaps not being good enough for Formula 1.

“Every driver new to a team is under pressure,” F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi told Wettfreunde. “If you then have two bosses with different opinions about you, that only increases the pressure.

“The pressure on de Vries must be huge,” he added.

So as the Austrian GP weekend gets underway, Marko is still openly commenting about de Vries, admitting he is “falling short of expectations”.

“We don’t have a time limit on it, but we’re watching it closely,” the 80-year-old added.

“We expect a significant increase now, especially now on the circuits that he knows better,” Marko told APA.

When asked about the latest wave of comments about him on Thursday, de Vries said: “I think Dr Marko would appreciate it if I proved him wrong on track.

“That’s all I feel about it and what’s within my control. So that’s it.”

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04 during the Canadian GP at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Sunday June 18, 2023 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images)

De Vries insisted that the worst thing he could do now is try to “force” better pace, and his friend and countryman Max Verstappen agrees that the former Formula E and Formula 2 champion needs to shut out the criticism.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people above you say,” said Verstappen. “It’s about how you learn from your weekends, learn from your mistakes like we all do just get on top of the car a little bit more.

“Don’t get too stressed about it, but just work hard together with all your people involved who can actually make a difference and influence your performance,” the reigning world champion added.

“But I don’t even need to tell Nyck that – he knows it, he has a lot of experience.”

De Vries’ situation is putting a positive spotlight on his Alpha Tauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda, but the Japanese insists his Dutch colleague “has pace”.

“He needs to find a rhythm,” said Tsunoda. “In the past, he has already shown what he is capable of, so I’m sure he’ll manage.”

Tsunoda also had a memorably difficult start to life in Formula 1, prompting Red Bull to ultimately relocate him to be close to Alpha Tauri’s Faenza HQ.

“I think Nyck’s situation is different to mine,” Tsunoda said, “because my problems were not only related to me.

“I had to improve in many things, but the team knew that the problems were not only about me.”

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