De Vries on the Formula 1 radar after a training drive?

For the second time this Formula 1 season, Nyck de Vries was able to compete in Friday practice. After driving the slowest car in Barcelona with the Williams, he drove the car of the reigning Constructors’ World Champion Mercedes – the W13 of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton – at Le Castellet.

The reigning Formula E World Champion also did quite well, because he finished ninth in the first practice session in France. “I think we had a good session,” says the Dutchman. “I think I was pretty quick at the pace. The grip is high here and that gives you a lot of confidence to push,” he says.

However, de Vries wasn’t entirely satisfied with his run on soft tires, “because I made a mistake on the second lap and we immediately went for long runs,” as he says. “But it was still a good session and we were able to get a lot of work done for the team.”

Mercedes itself also attested to its driver’s “great job” and found it “impressive how fast and consistent he was,” says senior race engineer Andrew Shovlin.

“It’s a real privilege and honor”

For de Vries himself, the training was of course also a kind of application drive, because he hasn’t lost sight of Formula 1, even if Williams decided against him and for Alexander Albon before the season. But because Mercedes’ commitment to Formula E ends after the season, his future is still open.

He admits it was “a difficult balance”: On the one hand, he wanted to draw attention to himself, but on the other hand, of course, he had to fulfill his team’s programming requirements. “And you’re in the car of Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, and in a Mercedes, who have dominated the sport for eight seasons. That’s a real privilege and honor.”

“So of course you want to meet the expectations,” says de Vries. “At the same time, you have to be focused on doing the job that’s expected of you. Because they have a race weekend ahead of them, you want to show something of yourself, but you also can’t do anything wrong. And that’s a difficult balance, but it’s also part of our job. “

De Vries hopes for a future in Formula 1

De Vries admits he would love to drive in Formula 1 in the future: “Nothing compares to the feeling of a Formula 1 car, especially when you have that much grip,” he says. “It’s a unique feeling and just pure joy. That’s of course the goal of every racing driver,” he admits frankly.

But the question is whether de Vries will ever get his chance, because the Dutchman is currently considered an outsider in the fight for a cockpit for 2023. “Formula 1 is a very dynamic business,” he knows. “I can only do my part and the rest is out of my hands.”

But he doesn’t want to rule anything out: “We also saw that Brandon [Hartley] suddenly found himself in Formula 1 after driving long distances for a while. You never know what will happen in the future. But you have to be realistic and honest,” he says. “I focus on myself and then time will tell where I end up.”

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