Star debutant de Vries wary “not only merit” needed for 2023 F1 seat

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Nyck de Vries hopes to land a full-time drive in Formula 1 next year after his widely-praised debut last weekend, but says “it’s not only merit” that will determine whether he gets the chance.

The Williams substitute has won the Formula 2 and Formula E titles since joining Mercedes in late 2019. He gained F1 mileage with the marque and its engine customers, but had been overlooked for a race seat until last weekend.

While on Mercedes reserve duty at Monza, de Vires got a last-minute call-up to stand in for the unwell Alexander Albon and starred by reaching Q3 and scoring points for ninth place. The result immediately lifted his F1 stock and has thrust him into contention for a 2023 drive.

“I think this weekend has been a good performance, but we’re always expected to perform and do a good job and it’s not up to me to decide any driver line-up,” de Vries said of how his debut may influence his future.

“This world is very volatile and it’s not only merit [that] counts. It’s out of my control.

“But this, no one can take away from me. Regardless what happens in the future, whether I’m here or not, I can still look back on a proud debut and first moment in F1.”

While joining Albon at Williams appears to be the likeliest destination for de Vries, Alpine is also thought to be interested in his services to fill the seat Fernando Alonso will vacate at the end of the season.

“I might need to prepare a PowerPoint,” de Vries joked – referring to how George Russell convinced Mercedes to take him on as a junior driver – when asked about Alpine’s interest.

“Any time you’re in the car, you’re expected to do a good job. And every time you get the chance to drive a F1 car, that is a kind of job interview and audition.

“You’ve got to take those opportunities, but you also have to use them sensibly, because there’s always a trade-off between doing too much and too little. But I am just grateful that it worked out well and it played in our hands, we took some points and it was a great performance and no one can take that away from us.”

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2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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8 comments on “Star debutant de Vries wary “not only merit” needed for 2023 F1 seat”

  1. Nyck has won both the F2 and Formula E titles. Now he has made a successful full debut in an F1 race. I know there are other forces at play but he would seem like a very good catch for some team next year. He seems more deserving of a place than let’s say someone from the U.S. with little direct F1 experience. By deserving I mean has more relevant knowledge it seems.

    On another note, it’s looking increasingly difficult for Ricciardo to find a place next year which is a shame I think.

    1. Funny isn’t it, what else can a driver do to impress on teams the view that he is a really good signing @phil-f1-21, right.

    2. Nick should consider applying for an American citizenship! All jokes aside, I’d love to see him at Williams: Albon — de Vries is a solid point scoring line-up.

      Regarding Ricciardo, I hope he ends up replacing Gasly at Alpha Tauri. Once the Honey Badger will have his mojo back, he’d be a great asset to the Red Bull family. A return of the prodigal son, so to speak.

  2. Alpine is also thought to be interested in his services to fill the seat Fernando Alonso will vacate at the end of the season

    If they are interested, they should be printing a contract to offer him right now (or already) unless they were considering repeating the Piastri debacle by waving vague suggestions and offering nothing concrete.
    If they make no move to make an offer, then they can’t whinge if someone else does.

  3. “Merit is not enough” how arrogant of him.

    1. Oh FFS, you’re one of those …

    2. He beat Latifi in F2 but But Latifi got the seat.
      Zhou wasnt anything special either but got a seat over better drivers because of money..

      So its just facts..

  4. You need to choose wealthier parents if you want to race cars. It’s pretty much always been that way unless you are far more talented than the competition

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