By James Broughton, September 13, 2022
Dutchman Nyck de Vries has quite a few open-wheel titles under his belt, he won the Karting World Championship twice between 2010-2011. The F2 title followed in 2019 and he became Formula E World champion in 2021. He is from the same school as Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon and also doubles as a reserve driver for Mercedes AMG F1. In his spare time, he races in Formula One, only once it must be said. That one occasion was at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, where the Dutchman was parachuted in to replace Alex Albon who was deemed too ill to race.
De Vries used all his racing experience to hustle the back of the field Williams into Q2 and during the race he showed measured maturity to finish 9th, earning himself 2 points on his rookie F1 debut. Such a first-time performance should have the F1 pitlane getting their lawyers ready to conjure up a contract and sign de Vries on the spot. But this is Formula One.
It may well be the case that Williams has in place an agreement to sign Mick Schumacher from Hass to replace Nicholas Latifi. Alpine has a spare seat going after failing to retain Alonso, but even that seat may have a pre-contract in place with another driver.
Nevertheless, Alpine has reportedly offered de Vries a test session in Hungary where he will be assessed alongside several other drivers. It may well be that Nyck de Vries was the right man for the job who came along at the wrong time.