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George Russell

Russell questions Marko's handling of de Vries

The former Mercedes reserve was dumped by AlphaTauri after the British Grand Prix and 10 races.

Russell Austria
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

George Russell has questioned Helmut Marko's decision to make Nyck de Vries the unofficial AlphaTauri team leader during his spell with the team.

2020/21 Formula E champion de Vries was signed by Marko to join AlphaTauri for a full-time drive in 2023 having impressed during his stand-in appearance for Williams at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix.

Marko said that de Vries should be considered the AlphaTauri team leader owing to his greater experience in motorsport, despite the fact that teammate Yuki Tsunoda already had two seasons in F1 under his belt.

De Vries was ultimately relieved of his duties after the British Grand Prix as the pressure built on him over the preceding races, with Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Marko opting to put Daniel Ricciardo in alongside Tsunoda.

And Russell, who worked with de Vries when he was reserve driver at Mercedes, was baffled by Marko's handling of the Dutchman.

Russell's de Vries sympathy

"I wouldn't have expected it in any other team," Russell told select media including RacingNews365 of de Vries' early departure from AlphaTauri.

"Obviously we know how Red Bull operates and you need to respect how they do things.

"I mean, I didn't follow Nyck closely during his time at AlphaTauri, but I saw the reports and things that Helmut said and it is a difficult place to go if you're lacking confidence.

"For sure, they didn't help him to gain confidence starting the season by saying he's going to be the leader of the team for he is a rookie.

"It doesn't matter that he is 27 or 28 years old, he is a Formula 1 rookie and you can't go in telling the rookie that you are the leader of the team just because you've raced in more championship than your teammate.

"He was in a difficult position from when he started so I do feel bad for him. He is Formula 1 level, but didn't get the opportunity that he deserved."

F1 2023 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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