Nyck de Vries admitted that losing his first Formula 1 seat to Daniel Ricciardo after just 10 races with AlphaTauri "hurts."
"I would like to thank Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri for the opportunity to live my dream," de Vries wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. "Of course, it hurts that the F1 chance I dreamed of for so long ended prematurely.
"But life is not a destination, it's a journey, and sometimes you have to take the hard road to get where you want to be."
de Vries, 28, failed to earn a point in his short stint with AlphaTauri, with his best result a 12th-place showing at Monaco after qualifying in the same position. Taking over after Pierre Gasly's move to Alpine, there were high expectations for de Vries, the 2019 Formula 2 champion who finished ninth in a stand-in ride for Williams last year.
However, he struggled to show the same pace as AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda and sits last in the driver's standings.
Helmut Marko, who oversees the personnel for both teams, ultimately decided last week to replace de Vries with Ricciardo, an eight-time F1 winner who had been Red Bull's reserve driver behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez this year.
"I am grateful for our privileged lives, proud of our journey and my family," de Vries wrote. "This is just another experience; we move on and look forward to the next chapter.
"Thank you to everyone for your kind and encouraging messages in the past week. It's been heart-warming to feel your support.
Meanwhile, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the decision to move Ricciardo into the AlphaTauri seat was made just 11 laps into his test drive at Silverstone two days after the British Grand Prix. De Vries was dropped entirely from the Red Bull driver program.
"It all happened a little quicker than expected, bearing in mind we hadn't completed the test," Horner said on the F1 Nation podcast, per Speedcafe.com.
"Helmut spoke with Nyck -- you know, he was the one that obviously had recruited him -- so he was the one that spoke with Nyck about lap 11 of the test, I think."
AlphaTauri is last on the constructors' standings with the team's only two points coming via a pair of 10th-place finishes by Tsunoda. de Vries finished ahead of Tsunoda just twice in 10 races.
"It was becoming obviously a difficult situation for Nyck, but there was a high expectation on him because, whilst inexperienced in Formula 1, he's obviously a very experienced driver," Horner said.
"I think there was a general feeling that Nyck wasn't quite hitting the mark. And then the question was, what are the options if we were to switch things around?
"From a Red Bull Racing perspective, the most interesting option for me was to see how Daniel performs.
"So that was the decision that was made. It all happened pretty quickly, and here he is for the Hungarian Grand Prix."
--Field Level Media