Nyck de Vries: Under pressure

Published on 21 June 2023 at 20:00

Nathan Hartley


De Vries is a driver that has competed in many different series. From Formula E to Formula 2 - now earning a drive in Formula 1 at the age of 28 and now is under pressure to keep his seat for next season.


Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri (Image Credit: Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Formula 2 Champion


De Vries would spend three season in Formula 2, during the years 2017 to 2019. In 2017, De Vries revealed that he almost quit racing after a difficult season with ART, finishing sixth in the championship.


However, 2017 saw the Dutchman enter Formula 2 with Rapax. He would have backing from the McLaren Driver Academy, earning him a seat in Formula 2. He would end the season seventh, achieving his first sprint race win and multiple podium finishes. De Vries did switch team mid-season to Racing Engineering, where he finished second on his debut with the team.


The 2017 Formula 2 Championship was won by a familiar name in Charles Leclerc, who dominated the season, earning him a seat at Sauber for the 2018 Formula 1 season.


De Vries would stay in Formula 2 for the 2018 season. The Dutchman would partner up with Monegasque Sean Galael at Prema Racing. He would win a sprint race in France and win his first feature races in Hungary and Belgium. Overall, it was an improvement to last season as he finished fourth. He lost out to familiar names George Russell, Lando Norris and Alex Albon, who all made the step to Formula 1 the following season.


The 2019 season would be the season that would see De Vries finally flourish. The Dutchman returned to ART, partnering up with Nikita Mazepin. After four victories and many podiums, De Vries would win the 2019 Formula 2 World Championship from Nicholas Latifi in second by 52 points.


Despite winning the championship, it would be Latifi who got the call up to Formula 1, racing for Williams. This left De Vries with no seat for the 2020 Formula 1 season. Furthermore, he could not compete in Formula 2 again as he won the championship.


De Vries celebrating his feature race victory in Monaco (Image Credit: Charles Coates/Getty Images)


Formula E Champion


With no seats available in Formula 1, De Vries switched his attention to Formula E. He would join Mercedes-Benz EQ for the 2019-20 Formula E Championship. The Dutchman would be with Stoffel Vandoorne.


He would take his first pole position on his debut race in Diriyah and would also take his first victory at the same venue, leading every single lap in a dominant display.


By the end of the season, De Vries won the Formula E Championship, claiming two wins, four podiums and 99 points. The Dutchman finished seven points ahead of vice-champion Mortara.


Earning a Formula 1 seat


De Vries had a lot of experience in Formula 1 cars during the 2022 season. The new 2022 cars were completely new cars compared to the cars in 2021, using ground-effect cars to help cars follow each other more closely for better racing.


In 2022, De Vries made his debut in a free practice session in Barcelona, replacing Alex Albon to drive the Williams car. The Dutchman would then replace Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes for FP1 in Le Castellet and also drove in a Mercedes, replacing George Russell in Mexico free practice.


In September, De Vries also tested the Alpine A521 as rumours were flying around as to who could replace the outgoing Fernando Alonso, who went to Aston Martin.


However, something more serious happened as De Vries was called up to Williams as Alex Albon was unable to participate at the Italian Grand Prix due to appendicitis. At the same weekend, De Vries had already driven the Aston Martin car in place of Sebastian Vettel at FP1.


The Dutchman managed to outqualify Latifi, qualifying 13th. However, he would start the race from eighth after many grid penalties. The Dutchman would finish the race in an impressive ninth place, scoring points and received Driver of the Day by the fans.


The impressive performance in Monza earned the 28-year-old a seat at AlphaTauri, replacing the outgoing Pierre Gasly, who went to Alpine.


Nyck de Vries at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix (Image Credit: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)


Pressure mounting


AlphaTauri entered the 2023 season hoping to improve from last year's disappointing season. However, the car in 2023 was just as bad and along with internal issues it was hard for De Vries to settle into Formula 1.


The Dutchman is still yet to score points and is continuously being outclassed by teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who is spending their third season at the team.


Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has made it clear that the Dutchman has to improve his performances to retain his seat for next season. Rumours of Daniel Ricciardo returning to the Faenza-based team are flying around as the Australian is desperate to be on the grid in 2024.


Do you think De Vries will be able to retain his seat for the 2024 season?

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