It’s almost unfathomable that Nyck de Vries, at the age of 27, has yet to secure a full-time Formula 1 seat. The young Dutchman has been knocking on the door for nearly a decade, but it appears that his name and the ‘ooh aah’ that goes with it are the only things that people are excited about.

That all changed at the recent Italian Grand Prix, when he was called to race for Williams, filling Alex Albon’s vacant seat after appendicitis forced him out of contention. It was just what De Vries needed, and he took full advantage of it. Albon is unlikely to get a second run in Singapore on October 2nd, by which time he should be fit as a fiddle, but he is on standby.

But, while everyone is praising his ninth-place finish in Italy, who exactly is Nyck de Vries? And does he have the credentials to be considered for an F1 seat?

Is there a second (Dutch) coming?

After Max Verstappen, De Vries became the first Dutch driver in a long time to compete in an F1 race. Surprisingly, the two started the Italian GP side by side, with the defending champion in seventh and the ‘new kid’ in eighth.

De Vries was born on February 6, 1995, in Sneek, and by the age of 11, he was competing in the 2006 Dutch championship ICA Junior. That year, he finished third in his first competitive karting season, catching the attention of potential sponsors.

McLaren signed the youngster to their Young Driver Programme from 2010 to 2019, four years and several championship victories later. He also joined the Audi Sport racing academy in October 2016, with his contract expiring three months later, in August 2019, than McLaren’s.

During his time at McLaren, he had the option of racing for the team in 2016. Unfortunately, the team replaced Jenson Button with Belgian racer Stoffel Vandoorne, leaving De Vries behind. De Vries debuted in GP3 (now Formula 3) in 2015, then Formula 2 from 2017 to 2019. Despite winning several races, his first two F2 seasons were not particularly successful, but everything came together when he won the championship in 2019.

Even so, it wasn’t enough to land him an F1 racing seat.

He also raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship between 2018 and 2022, and for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team in the 2019-20 Formula E season, partnering with Vandoorne. The Mercedes-Benz EQ team competed in Formula E for three seasons, the last being the 2021-22 season. De Vries and Vandoorne signed off for the Silver Arrows in empathic fashion, winning the championship. Vandoorne will be the new champion in 2021, replacing De Vries.

F1 and De Vries

Despite having been ready for years, De Vries’ F1 doors would finally open – albeit at such an advanced age. With his affiliation with the Mercedes team, he was called to replace Albon for the first practise session of this year’s Spanish GP. Shortly after, he drove Lewis Hamilton’s car in the opening practise for the French Grand Prix.

Then there was Italy, where he took over for Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin for the first practise. Aston Martin, like Williams, has strong ties to Mercedes-AMG and its team manager, Toto Wolff. The next day, the Williams call came. It was the first time a driver competed for two teams on the same racing weekend since Graham Hill in the late 1960s, when he practised in a Brabham and raced in a Lotus.

Verstappen also praised De Vries after the Italian Grand Prix, saying he did an excellent job.

“It’s definitely not easy for Nyck to jump in and, you know, deliver this performance,” the Red Bull ace said. “And, based on what I saw, I believe he did an excellent job of defending himself. He just kept his cool and avoided making mistakes. And I’m very pleased for him to get the points. Of course, it’s impressive for your first race.”

De Vries proved to temporary teammate Nicholas Latifi that he is worthy of the Canadian’s under-threat spot next year. Williams will stick with Albon in 2023, but they may give De Vries a shot as they try to get out of F1’s doldrums.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn to get the latest updates from Cape Town Tribune

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the best deals on our WordPress themes.

You May Also Like

European Rugby Officials Are ‘Optimistic’ About The Formation Of A Club World Cup.

European rugby officials refused to set a deadline for reaching an agreement…

Gift Of The Givers Applauds Cops And The Court After The Killers Of A Volunteer Are Sentenced Harshly.

Gift of the Givers has praised the police and the Western Cape…

The Hawks Have Appointed A New Deputy Chief, But 48% Of Positions Remain Unfilled.

The Hawks may not be flying at full capacity, but the unit’s…

Former England Star Can’t Recall Winning The Rugby World Cup And Claims Dementia Makes Him ‘Phoney.’

Former England rugby star Steve Thompson says he feels like a “phoney”…