Formula 1: AlphaTauri should replace both drivers after 2023

Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Formula 1 (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images)
Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Formula 1 (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images) /

AlphaTauri teammates Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries have not been performing up to expectations, and both should lose their seat in Formula 1.

Despite AlphaTauri being one of the lower-standing teams in Formula 1, the expectations set forth by Red Bull this season have been quite hefty. It has been blatantly clear that the team will end up being quite far away from those expectations.

Going into the season, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko set forth expectations for the team. His hopes were for the team to finish in fifth place in the constructor standings, with sixth or seventh being acceptable.

With that, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has quite a bit of pressure to lead the team to success. Marko stated the following.

"“We have spoken to Franz Tost. A clear procedure has been agreed with him on how this will happen over the course of this season.”"

Five races into the 2023 Formula 1 season, things are not looking good for AlphaTauri so far.

The team sit in ninth place in the constructor standings with Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries in 16th and 20th in the driver standings, respectively.

Their performance on the track has certainly not been up to par with the standards set for them. Tsunoda was expected to lead the team going forward this season, sliding into the role Pierre Gasly played, and he has not been that leading force AlphaTauri hoped for.

As for de Vries, his performance has been astoundingly poor to open the season. The hopes for the Dutchman were rather high, and the 28-year-old has simply failed to deliver.

On top of that, de Vries is one of two drivers yet to grab a point, and he is scored below Williams rookie Logan Sargeant due to a worse top finish (12th vs. 14th place).

Many believed de Vries would take over as lead driver and perform better than Tsunoda straight away. The fact that he entered the team as an older driver was thought to be a plus as well. However, things have simply not gone his way thus far.

AlphaTauri brought some rather significant upgrades to the Miami Grand Prix in hopes of improving performance. The team “implemented more significant changes with a modified front wing and sidepod inlet”. The improved performance was non-existent, with Tsunoda finishing in 11th place and de Vries finishing in 18th.

Both AlphaTauri drivers should be replaced after this season, as all indications point to neither being capable of matching the expectations set forth by Red Bull. Going forward, if AlphaTauri have any hopes of winning the midfield battle, they must take a different approach when choosing their next driver(s).

With their last few selections, they have gone with younger drivers. As the sister team of Red Bull, they have provided a way for younger drivers to come up through the ranks. But Pierre Gasly has been the only true recent success in their program, and even he lost his Red Bull seat.

Looking forward to the 2024 season, the team could look for drivers who may have a bit more experience than their current lineup. They might be inclined to as well, after seeing how well Nico Hulkenberg’s return to Formula 1 with Haas has gone thus far.

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That could open the door for others such as Daniel Ricciardo, who may be looking to make that full-time return to Formula 1. Regardless, the performance of both Tsunoda and de Vries has simply been poor this season, and they should both be let go by the team if they continue to fall shy of expectations.