Nyck de Vries opens up on the normal speculation around his F1 seat after handful of races, as he adds his views on it.
For Dutch rookie de Vries, last season at Monza must feel like a distant memory now. Having driven in practice for Aston Martin, he was called up by Williams to replace appendicitis victim Alex Albon. In the end a great drive to ninth saw him net points on his debut and immediately he was the talk of the paddock.
Time moved on and he signed for AlphaTauri replacing Alpine bound Pierre Gasly. The Faenza based outfit themselves have had a challenging time of late but for de Vries, it has not really gone according to plan and five races in, there has already been talk about him being under pressure to keep his seat for this season and beyond.
The time between Miami and Monaco was full of speculation which saw his seat being linked to Daniel Ricciardo, Liam Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa. There were also stories of de Vries being given a handful of races to seal his F1 fate but for now he has put them down.
Speculation on the future and reaction –
De Vries: “I think it is normal to have conversations with your bosses. We did not speak particularly very much in the last couple of weeks and honestly that is really I can say about it. No, not all. I mean ultimately I try not to really read media through weekends because I don’t necessarily think it helps me, even from earlier in the season. So I kind of picked up on some things even just receiving messages from some people but I have not actually read anything myself.”
Safe at Alpha Tauri right now –
De Vries: “Yes, and also I mean it is not a shock to me because it is normal, it is this industry. t has always been like that in Red Bull and Formula One. I genuinely believe it is not different than earlier in the season. You have always got to perform, you have always got to deliver and I’ve had throughout my whole career. As a driver, you always kind of fight for your survival, your whole career, you always need to deliver for your career forward successfully, it’s kind of normal, it is how it has been always. Ultimately if I do my job on track then I know I will be able to continue my career forward successfully I think. That is always how I live and always how it’s been so…again that is the way it is.”
Communication regarding upping performance –
De Vries: “You might not believe me when I say that but I honestly don’t think there is more pressure than there is any other time. Actually, the only difference in Formula One is that you have a lot more noise around it and especially when there is a bit of a gap, there is more kind of speculation and talking and that is probably the biggest difference to any other Championship but when it comes to the job, everyone needs to do their job and perform so it honestly no different.”
Areas of struggle –
De Vries: “I definitely think that I personally made too many mistakes. I will admit that very openly. I also believe that the pace has been strong at several moments and that encourages me and gives me confidence. But…I have not been able to execute at the end and put it together but I do believe the speed has been there but equally I made too many mistakes to turn that into a result but that is part of the learning process you go through and sometimes it world out and sometimes it doesn’t. You can make it big, you can make it small, we are all human, we make mistakes, we move on and that’s it.”
Transition from Formula E to Formula One –
De Vries: “You are only as good as your last race. If you had asked the same question after Monza, you would have a different answer. Now because I have had a difficult start to the season, it becomes more relevant. I mean I don’t really go in that depth, I made some mistakes and that’s it.”
Previous championship success and so set perception –
De Vries: “Yeah, but it’s out of my control and I cannot worry about other people’s perspectives and opinions, that’s not something that I can control, the only thing I can only control is what I do in track. As I said, I don’t really read, I am sorry for all your work and time spent writing and doing your job, I personally don’t read it. I don’t know how they internally treated anybody else because I wasn’t part of those conversations, so I don’t know.
Personal expectations in terms of delivery on track –
De Vries: “No, I think the beginning of the season had not satisfied me personally and I also understand it has not satisfied the group because we always want to do better and I acknowledge my mistakes and I’m obviously someone who wants to do better, so certainly not satisfied.”
He has a great track record up to now and to an extent, AlphaTauri are to an extent also struggling over the last while. They did give Yuki Tsunoda time to settle in considering he was a proper rookie, but it remains to be seen how much is given to the experienced de Vries.
Here’s Yuki Tsunoda, Fernando Alonso factor in Aston Martin-Honda scene
Here’s Yuki Tsunoda on scary moment in Italy
Here’s Nyck de Vries sharing his story of being stuck
Here’s Christian Horner on Yuki Tsunoda’s Red Bull’s chances