AlphaTauri Team Principal, Franz Tost, has admitted that Nyck de Vries was not prepared properly for his Formula 1 debut with the team.
The Dutchman has been replaced by Daniel Ricciardo for the rest of the season, after de Vries failed to deliver on expectations and score points in his first ten races.
Speaking about the sacking, Tost told Sandor Meszaros of Formula.hu: "I feel a lot of sympathy for Nyck, believe me this was a really very, very tough decision because Nyck is a fantastic person. He won the Formula 2 championship and was Formula E World Champion.
"I must say F1 has changed dramatically in the last years. That means, if a young driver comes into F1 he really has to be prepared in a very, very professional way.
"What do I mean with this? Before he comes to F1, yes [he has] the two private tests where he achieves around 5,000km or whatever. We did some pilot tests with Nyck at the beginning of the season, but not as much as maybe would have been necessary."
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De Vries lacked circuit knowledge
Many of the circuits at the start of the season are not on the junior formula calendar. This makes it tough for rookies to acclimatise themselves to the demands of F1, according to Tost.
"At the beginning of the year you have many racetracks where they never have raced before, like in Saudi Arabia, Miami, Melbourne," he added.
"Then we have additional Sprint races like in Baku where you have only FP1 and then you have already qualifying.
"This makes it for a rookie, really, really difficult to show a good performance. The field now in F1 is very, very competitive. There is no driver that does not deserve to be there."
AlphaTauri explains decision to drop De Vries
The team is currently in a tight battle with Haas, Alfa Romeo, and Williams at the bottom of the Constructors' Championship, with just nine points between 10th and 7th place.
This could have a huge impact on the amount of prize money they receive at the end of the season.
While De Vries has been praised in the past by the team for the quality of his technical feedback, the team ultimately believes Ricciardo can extract more points from the next few races.
"Looking at the second half of the season, this was also an important point in our decision making process," explained Tost.
"Nyck wouldn't have known many race tracks and this is also a very, very big disadvantage. Daniel Ricciardo knows them and therefore at the end, we decided to go with Ricciardo."