F1: Mercedes will run Alpha Tauri’s new driver in Mexico FP1

Mercedes are facing an awkward situation in terms of their driver selection for the Mexico Grand Prix after confirming Nyck de Vries will be back behind the wheel for the team in Mexico City. The Dutchman will return to his duty as reserve driver just three weeks after signing a contract with Red Bull’s ‘B’ team AlphaTauri to race in 2023 on the Formula 1 grid.

The 27-year-old will take part in the first free practice session on Friday morning, replacing George Russell in the cockpit, as he prepares to gathers data with some laps around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit for the German manufacturer.

It presents a slightly awkward situation for the team given De Vries’ decision to turn his back on any future with Mercedes by signing for AlphaTauri next season, the sister team of Red Bull who are also owned by the 2022 Constructors’ Championship winners.

De Vries will take the place of Pierre Gasly for 2023 to partner Yuki Tsunoda after the Frenchman opted to join Alpine on a multi-year contract, with the announcement made at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month.

In 2023 De Vries will drive for Scuderia AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost – shown here attending the Team Principals Press Conference prior to final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 10, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Despite the awkwardness surrounding his future switch, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he is looking forward to De Vries’ return to the track: “Nyck will be replacing George in FP1 this weekend as part of the young driver session allocation,” said Wolff. “We are excited to see him back in the W13 and seeing how he performs.”


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