Nyck de Vries' removal from AlphaTauri after only 10 races in 2023 certainly split opinion with a former F1 star claiming he could have contributed heavily had he stayed with the team.
However, the consensus was that de Vries wasn't performing and left the team with little choice but to act. He was then replaced by Daniel Ricciardo, which was certainly a popular choice with F1 fans.
That said, questions have been raised about whether Red Bull made the right choice and whether Ricciardo - and Liam Lawson while stepping in for the injured Aussie - did enough to prove that Red Bull's decision was a good one.
Former racing driver and de Vries' fellow Dutchman Giedo van der Garde has now blamed Helmut Marko for the sacking, insisting that it's a 'terrible shame' he wasn't given more time to prove his worth.
"Of course, it's not normal to think that when you're new to Formula 1 you can attract such a team to you in one go," he told RacingNews365. "That takes half a year to three-quarters of a year.
"But everyone thought after that one race in the Williams [at 2022 Italian GP] that he would just show it off, but that's not how it works.
"So it's a terrible shame that he wasn't given more time. It's also a guy who sometimes needs a little longer to show what he really has up his sleeve and I know how good he really is and above all how dedicated he is."
Marko panicked and acted
AlphaTauri struggled throughout most of 2023 but made a late-season improvement, securing valuable points to climb up from the bottom of the constructors' standings - and van der Garde believes de Vries could have contributed to that uprising.
"He would have been better in his rhythm by that time and maybe Helmut Marko would have been a bit calmer and more relaxed by that time as well, because there were some points on the scoreboard anyway.
"When the team is more relaxed, you automatically start performing better. You become more one with the car. So I think what those guys showed, Nyck could have shown as well."
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