Sebastian Vettel has branded Red Bull's Formula 1 sacking of Nyck de Vries from AlphaTauri as "brutal."
The sister Red Bull team elected to replace de Vries with Daniel Ricciardo after just 10 races with the team, as he failed to match teammate Yuki Tsunoda and score points for the team.
Vettel, the original driver of the Red Bull junior programme and four-time World Champion, hopes his confidence is not affected by the sacking, but admits that F1 can be "brutal" on drivers.
“I have to be honest, It’s obviously a shame for Nyck, the way it came to an end,” he told ITV at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
"I think he got given a great chance, maybe things didn’t happen for him the way he expected or people expected but it’s also a bit harsh when it comes to a very sudden stop. It’s brutal."
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Vettel: Maybe those 10 didn't go according to plan
Vettel added that he felt sympathy for de Vries, as he failed to deliver on the promise he showed during his debut at the Italian Grand Prix last year with Williams.
“Maybe those five, 10 races whatever didn’t go according to how good they could have been. We don’t know why, first of all from the outside and second he is still a very good driver," Vettel said.
"I have to also sympathise with the fact that you know, it’s very harsh for him and I hope that people don’t [just] see that.”
The former Red Bull ace believes people should not draw to conclusions on de Vries career based on one stint with a team.
"He won the F2 championship, he won international championships so he’s well recognised and I hope that this doesn’t put a dent in his confidence.
"That’s why people shouldn’t look at [only his AlphaTauri career] because people tend to do that and that’s not right."