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SBNation.com – All Posts: Max Verstappen gives Nyck de Vries a vote of confidence


F1 Grand Prix of Austria - Previews
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Nyck de Vries, under pressure at AlphaTauri, got some support from none other than Max Verstappen

Pressure seems to be mounting on Formula 1 rookie Nyck de Vries. But ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix the rookie driver received an unexpected vote of confidence.

From none other than Max Verstappen.

Earlier this season Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko admitted to giving De Vries the “yellow card,” warning him about his slow start to the season and making it clear that the AlphaTauri rookie needed to improve his performance. While De Vries responded with his best finish of the year at the Monaco Grand Prix, a 12th-place result, things have only worsened since then. De Vries finished in 14th place in the Spanish Grand Prix, and is coming off an 18th-place finish in the Canadian Grand Prix.

While Marko praised the rookie following the Monaco GP, saying that is “…what I want to see from him…” after his finish in the tricky street race, the Red Bull advisor has upped the ante on De Vries in recent days. Speaking on the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Marko noted that he and Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner have disagreed about drivers in the past, and used De Vries as an example.

But that is not all, because Marko indicated that while he was in favor of bringing De Vries to AlphaTauri, Horner was against it.

“The last one where I would say, Nyck de Vries. And at the moment it looks like he [Horner] is right,” said Marko on the Inside Line F1 Podcast, before adding “[a]nd he was not so big a fan of Nyck de Vries.”

During Thursday’s press conferences ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Verstappen was asked if he had any advice for De Vries, and the World Champion had this to say:

Well, I think we all know that this is motor sport in general, right? You need to perform to the best you can. It’s not forever anyway but like Nyck said, you can’t force things as well. So it’s about how you work together with your team, gain more experience as well and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people above you say, it’s about how then you learn from your weekends, learn from your mistakes like we all do, and yeah, just get on top of the car a little bit more, feel a bit more comfortable and definitely don’t force it. Just talk to engineers: what can we do better, what can be worked on? And then at one point, when these things click a little bit more, you can get these results and then if you have one good result maybe it leads to another one and then you feel a bit more comfortable anyway. So yeah, it’s a lot of things that have to come together at the end of the day. Don’t get too stressed about it, but just work hard together with all your people involved who can actually make a difference and influence your performance. But I don’t even need to tell Nyck, he knows that, he has a lot of experience. We’ll see again this weekend to be honest and this is for everyone, of course, it’s not only Nyck, everyone, every single weekend you have to work together with your engineers because again, we, like this year we have a very quick car but if I would just sit back and relax and think that everything will come to me then the results at one point will stop coming and you cannot let that happen.

For his part, De Vries was clear about what he needs to do. Asked about Marko’s comments on the Inside Line F1 Podcast on Thursday, De Vries stated simply:

“I think Dr. Marko would appreciate it if I proved him wrong on track. That’s all I feel about it and what’s within my control. So that’s it.”

He’ll get his chance starting today in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

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