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Will the current 20 drivers on the Formula 1 grid still have their seats at the end of the season? Possibly not.
Helmut Marko, the advisor to Red Bull, has publicly stated that rookie Nick De Vries is on a “yellow card” following a disappointing start to his Formula 1 career driving a Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri.
In five starts, the Dutchman has failed to finish better than 14th. Meanwhile, teammate, Yuki Tsunoda has taken two World Drivers’ Championship points by finishing tenth twice. He must now have grave concerns for his future, as Marko has shown no mercy to other drivers in his predicament.
Scott Speed, Sébastien Bourdais, Daniil Kvyat, Pierre Gasly, and Alex Albon have all been demoted or dismissed mid-way through a season by Marko. And the 80-year-old has already stated he has two drivers in mind to replace De Vries. They are Liam Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa.
Lawson or Iwasa Could Drive a Red Bull Owned Alpha
Lawson, 21 and from New Zealand, finished third in the 2023 F2 championship and is AlphaTauri’s current reserve driver. Iwasa is also 21. He is from Japan, and he is currently competing in F2 and has won two of the eight races staged in 2023.
If Nick De Vries does pull off a Houdini act and sees out 2023, will he be back in 2024? That question can be asked of six other drivers as Lewis Hamilton, Logan Sargeant, Yuki Tsunoda, Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg, and Zhou Guanyu do not currently hold a contract for the 2024 season.
Logan Sargeant could be under the most pressure as he, like De Vries, has yet to score a World Championship point in 2023. However, the American comes from a very wealthy family that is believed to financially support the Williams team in return for employing the 22-year-old to drive its car.
Alex Albon is currently on a single World Drivers’ Championship point, but he is priced 1/12 in bet365s book (on teammate driver match-ups) to outscore Sargeant over the course of the season. Interestingly, the market on Nick De Vries versus Yuki Tsunoda has been taken down by the betting site.
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