F1: De Vries had given up on ‘realistic’ F1 dream

(GMM) Nyck de Vries admits he thought his Formula 1 dream was over.

Although he’ll be a rookie in 2023 with Alpha Tauri, Red Bull’s ‘junior’ F1 team, the Dutchman is actually 27-years-old.

“Now comes the realization that it really is going to happen,” de Vries, this year’s Mercedes reserve, told the Dutch program Renze op Zaterdag.

“In all honesty, I no longer saw Formula 1 as a realistic opportunity,” he admitted. “But I kept grabbing the opportunities that came my way.

“I was there and I’ve been travelling to races for the last two years, but really for nothing. With that attitude I just sat in the VIP lounge on Saturdays having a coffee.”

Suddenly, though, his big opportunity came in 2022 – when Williams’ Alex Albon had appendicitis. De Vries then sensationally scored points on debut.

That piqued the interest of Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko – who will now have two Dutchmen on the grid in 2023.

“On the Monday after Monza, Max told me ‘I helped you a bit to keep Zhou behind you’. We grew up in the sport together and have known each other very well from an early age.

“I think we differ a lot in terms of character, but Max is now just dominating our sport and I really think that’s great to see. Very impressive how he does that.”

The Dutchmen have a good laugh. Nyck de Vries of Netherlands, Mercedes Test and Reserve Driver, Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Jos Verstappen talk in the Paddock prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on October 02, 2022 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images,) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool