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Nyck de Vries: Mercedes reserve driver says 'it's not a given' on a Formula 1 drive for 2023 – Sky Sports

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Last Updated: 03/10/22 4:16pm
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Nyck de Vries is adamant there are no certainties around whether he will earn a Formula 1 drive in 2023, despite being strongly linked with one of the few remaining seats.
The 2021 Formula E champion has been widely reported as being set to replace Pierre Gasly – expected to join Alpine in place of Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso – at Alpha Tauri alongside Yuki Tsunoda next year, and an announcement could come ahead of this week’s Japanese Grand Prix
De Vries’ stock was further boosted by a ninth-place finish on his F1 debut at the Italian Grand Prix last month. However, in an interview with Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle, the Mercedes reserve driver insisted there are many factors around whether he will get a full-time drive.
“It’s not a given,” De Vries told Sky Sports F1. “My appearance in Monza helped and boosted my reputation in a short time, but it’s not up to me to decide whether I should be in a car or not.
“I hope that time will come to me, and it will materialise in an opportunity.
“To get an opportunity in Formula 1 everything has to be right, and it’s very much about timing and momentum.
“I’m not the first one who has gone off to do something else and maybe come back to get an opportunity or be on the sideline for a bit.”
Prior to making his first F1 start at Monza, De Vries’ previous experience in the sport had been practice session outings for Williams and Mercedes in Spain and France respectively earlier this year.
He had even taken part in Friday practice for Aston Martin at the Italian Grand Prix but was hastily brought in by Williams for the rest of the weekend when Alex Albon was taken to hospital after developing appendicitis.
“I was a bit stressed like ‘what’s going on?’, and got told ‘you might be driving’,” De Vries said, recalling when he received the initial phone call on the Saturday morning at Monza telling him he was needed.
“So, I rushed into the engineering meeting, got ready for FP3 and while this all happened, I got informed I was doing the weekend.
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“I think it was a good thing it happened so quick, so unexpected and so sudden, because if you know a week prior you’re going into your first Grand Prix weekend, the pressure and nerves are just building up.
“I very quickly had to move them away and focus on what I actually had to do.”
Despite being thrust into the hotseat for an unexpected Grand Prix debut, the Dutchman performed creditably – starting by getting through to the second round of qualifying and securing 13th, before eventually being bumped up the grid to start eighth after grid penalties were applied to rivals.
His ninth-place finish the following day ensured he scored two points on his F1 bow and while he was pleased to have made an impact on his first start, De Vries is very much keeping his feet on the ground.
“I’m grateful it turned out to be a very good debut, but at the same time I want to be humble and acknowledge there were five grid penalties ahead of us which moved us from P13 to P8 on the grid,” he said.
“There were some retirements, the Safety Car at the end because we were suffering with a right-front brake issue, so it seemed all the stars were aligned, and I take that.
“I’m grateful for it, I acknowledge it, but we also did the job.”
©2022 Sky UK

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