De Vries ready for ‘new experience’ as F1 driver

Nyck de Vries is embarking on his first full season in F1

Nyck de Vries is embarking on his first full season in F1

Scuderia AlphaTauri rookie Nyck de Vries described this weekend’s F1 Bahrain Grand Prix as a “new experience” despite having started a race last year.

The Dutchman lined up for Williams at the Italian Grand Prix in place of Alex Albon in a performance that thrust him into the limelight.

That drive was a key contributor in landing a drive with Scuderia AlphaTauri for 2023.

At 28, he is at the older end of the spectrum when it comes to F1 debutants – of his fellow class of 2023 rookies, Oscar Piastri is 21 and Logan Sargeant just 22.

“It’s very obvious that this is a very special moment,” de Vries said in Bahrain.

“Obviously I had the opportunity to already experience it, to get a first taste in Monza last year, but now I’m head of my first official season in Formula 1 and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

A Formula E world champion, de Vries has also won the Formula 2 title and acted as reserve driver at Mercedes.

That saw him have outings with the Brackley squad during Free Practice 1 sessions last year, along with opportunities with Williams and Aston Martin.

Indeed, he’d driven for the latter on Friday morning in Monza before being called up to replace Albon from the Saturday.

He’s also raced in the World Endurance Championship, taking a class win at Fuji in the 2019-20 season.

His age and diverse racing background, he reasons, stand him in good stead for his rookie year.

“I think all my experience in previous racing I’ve done helped me to become who I am today,” he said.

“Certainly Monza broke the ice a little bit but equally this is a kind of new experience because this is my first expected Grand Prix whereas Monza it was certainly not.

“So it’s just a bit different, but all very exciting.”

De Vries joins Yuki Tsunoda at Scuderia AlphaTauri, the Japanese driver entering his third season of F1 in what many view as a key year when it comes to his future.

AlphaTauri struggled on the opening day in Bahrain, logging the 18th and 19th fastest times in both Free Practice sessions.

The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix continues with Free Practice 3 at 14:30 local time (22:30 AEDT).

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