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De Vries complimented by Russell: 'Nyck deserves F1 seat' – GPblog

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George Russell and Nyck de Vries know each other well. The Mercedes driver was for some time the friend of Seychelle de Vries, the sister of the Dutch driver. Although Russell is a few years younger, he has competed against De Vries for several years in the past so he knows how good the 27-year-old driver is. Russell would be delighted if De Vries returned to the F1 grid in 2023.


George Russell and Nyck de Vries know each other well. The Mercedes driver was for some time the friend of Seychelle de Vries, the sister of the Dutch driver. Although Russell is a few years younger, he has competed against De Vries for several years in the past so he knows how good the 27-year-old driver is. Russell would be delighted if De Vries returned to the F1 grid in 2023.
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When asked at the FIA press conference if he believes De Vries deserved a seat with his performance in the Italian Grand Prix, Russell replied: ” Yeah, he obviously did an excellent job and yeah, impressive. Throughout all of our karting career – the three of us race against him – knew him well, and he was always one of the very best and there’s no doubt he’s deserve another place in Formula 1.”
De Vries has an impressive track record, including a Formula 2 title and the Formula E world championship, yet he has never been given a chance in the pinnacle of motor sport. Sad for De Vries, because the champions of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021 did (or in the case of Oscar Piastri) get a chance in Formula 1. It is possible that De Vries will join that list if he receives a contract offer from a Formula One team.
Russell knows better than anyone that you need a bit of luck. “So that’s just how the sport is. Sometimes, you know, there’s 20 drivers, not everybody gets an opportunity but certainly now he’s proved everything he has to.” Judging by the words of team boss Jost Captio, Williams seems to be the main option for De Vries, but possibly Alpine is also an option.
De Vries heard on Saturday that he would replace Alexander Albon and had just an hour and a half to prepare for the third free practice session. Russell replaced Lewis Hamilton because of a corona injury at Mercedes in 2020. Asked for a comparison, he thinks De Vries’ performance was a bit more crisp.
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“I think probably tougher for him to be honest than it was for me because I was obviously a full time race driver then and equally as well for him jumping from Aston Martin on Friday into a Williams; it’s a different car, the seating position is different. I remember when I was doing testing with Mercedes, Force India at the time and driving F2 it took quite a few laps just to get used to the different feeling of how those cars reacted. As I said, there’s not a lot more to say; to score points on your debut in a Williams, it’s pretty spectacular no doubt.” he concludes.
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