AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost claims Nyck de Vries wasn’t granted the preparation needed to excel as a Formula 1 rookie in the modern era.

Daniel Ricciardo will return to F1 at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix with AlphaTauri after it was confirmed last week that he would replace de Vries for the remainder of the 2023 season.

De Vries struggled hugely in his debut campaign and failed to score a single point in 10 races, whilst also only beating team-mate Yuki Tsunoda on two occasions.

Tost, who will stand down from his role at the end of this year, sympathises with the Dutchman and believes he embarked upon his maiden F1 season underprepared.

“I feel a lot of sympathy for Nyck, believe me this was a really very, very tough decision because Nyck is a fantastic person,” Tost told Sandor Meszaros of Formula.hu. “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.”

Tost has cited the number of flyaway rounds unfamiliar to drivers on the junior ladder early in the year and the interruption of the Sprint format as two attributing factors for de Vries’ early troubles adapting.

“At the beginning of the year you have many racetracks where they never have raced before, like in Saudi Arabia, Miami, Melbourne,” he explained.

“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.”

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) AlphaTauri AT04. 09.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race Day.

AlphaTauri currently languishes bottom of the Constructors’ Championship with only two points to its name courtesy of a couple of 10th-place finishes from Yuki Tsunoda.

With the Faenza outfit only nine points adrift of Williams in seventh place, Tost reckons Ricciardo’s extensive knowledge of the majority of the remaining circuits on the calendar will aid AlphaTauri’s cause.

“Looking at the second half of the season, this was also an important point in our decision-making process,” the 67-year-old revealed.

“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.”

Both AlphaTauri drivers have fared well at the Hungaroring previously. Ricciardo notched his second career win at the venue in 2014, with Tsunoda recording a sixth-place finish in 2021.

But despite the addition of more upgrades to the side’s AT04 car this weekend, it will be a tall order for the pair to repeat those respective results on Sunday.

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