F2 champ did not have big enough check to buy a F1 seat

He was the best F2 driver in 2019, and won the title, but in the end Nyck de Vries did not have a big enough check to buy an F1 seat
He was the best F2 driver in 2019, and won the title, but in the end Nyck de Vries did not have a big enough check to buy an F1 seat

Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries says he has no regrets over missing out on a Formula 1 seat, while his ride-buying 2018 rivals with a big check stepping up. The champion, the best, has to instead step down to Formula E

De Vries joined Formula 2 in 2017 and, following spells at Rapax, Racing Engineering and Prema, then drove for ART Grand Prix for 2019.

De Vries wrapped up the Formula 2 crown 52 points in front of the son of a Canadian billionaire Nicholas Latifi, who will race at the back of the grid for Williams in Formula 1 in 2020.

De Vries’ immediate predecessors – George Russell and Charles Leclerc – graduated straight away to Formula 1, while GP2 champions Jolyon Palmer, Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly all stepped up after a year in a test role, though both Palmer and Vandoorne failed miserably.

Instead, de Vries’ future lies with Mercedes in Formula E – alongside Vandoorne – having made his debut for the manufacturer in Saudi Arabia last month.

“I had a personal target," said former McLaren junior de Vries. “I wanted to win this season to make a point, to show the world that we, as a team, have the capabilities to win this.

“But at the same time, I know this world is not so straightforward.

“Things change quickly, there are a lot of different things that play a role in actually making it into Formula 1 and not just delivering the job is enough.

“And I accept that, and I’m aware of that, so I’m a realistic person and I’ve no hard feelings toward that.

“At the same time, I’m also very happy for Nicholas Latifi, who will get the opportunity, because, honestly, you know, he did a good season too. He finished second, he did a good job and I think he deserves his chance.

“I got another opportunity in Formula E with Mercedes Benz EQ, and I’m honestly super happy and grateful for it. And I’ll do everything I can to make it a successful story together."

De Vries
De Vries

De Vries nonetheless accepted that there had been prior frustration at his 2018 season, in which he finished fourth, behind F1-bound Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon.

“And I accept that, and I’m aware of that, so I’m a realistic person and I’ve no hard feelings toward that.

“At the same time, I’m also very happy for Nicholas Latifi, who will get the opportunity, because, honestly, you know, he did a good season too. He finished second, he did a good job and I think he deserves his chance.

“I got another opportunity in Formula E with Mercedes Benz EQ, and I’m honestly super happy and grateful for it. And I’ll do everything I can to make it a successful story together."

De Vries nonetheless accepted that there had been prior frustration at his 2018 season, in which he finished fourth, behind F1-bound Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon.

“Last year I kind of, yeah, take the responsibility for missing out on the true championship battle," he reflected.

“We were certainly in a position to fight for it, but we, we as a team and me personally made too many mistakes to really have a good go on it.

“And then, you are kind of on the back foot from the beginning and you’re just trying to catch up, forcing more and eventually, or effectively making more mistakes.

“And I think it was a shame, and a bit painful to see the whole top three promoting to F1, knowing that one mistake would have been enough to be second in the championship. “So I was very grateful to get a kind of second chance with ART. It felt like coming home."

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