De Vries season ‘tough to swallow’ after ‘very silly’ Baku mistake

Nyck de Vries crashed out of the Azerbaijan GP after making what he said was a very silly mistake

Nyck de Vries crashed out of the Azerbaijan GP after making what he said was a very silly mistake

Nyck de Vries has declared his rookie F1 season “tough to swallow” at present after a “very silly mistake” saw him retire from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

De Vries clipped the wall at Turn 13, breaking the front-left wishbone on his AlphaTauri, forcing him to park up immediately after and leading to the only Safety Car period of the otherwise relatively uneventful 51-lap race.

Asked by Speedcafe about the incident, De Vries said: “Yes, fully my mistake, my responsibility, very silly and unnecessary.

“Only thing I can do now is move on and look at the next race, and thankfully, there is another race next weekend.

“We’ll have to look ahead to what’s coming.”

As to whether he suffered a lapse of concentration, De Vries added: “It’s kind of an awkward corner because the wall comes towards you, and I was just a bit too close.

“It’s a mistake, and again, fully on me. Nobody else to blame.”

Despite great hope in finally breaking into F1 after winning the F2 championship in 2019 and the Formula E title two years later, and following a stellar debut with Williams last year in the Italian Grand Prix in deputising for an ill Alex Albon, the 28-year-old Dutch driver has struggled this season.

An under-performing car has not aided his cause, but errors such as the one that ended his race at the Baku Street Circuit will not help his long-term cause either.

After four races without a point, the pressure is starting to increase.

“There is positivity to take away from certain moments, and we’ve shown since Jeddah speed at given moments,” said De Vries.

“But for a lot of reasons and circumstances, we haven’t really been able to turn it into a concrete finishing result, and that is very tough to swallow. Of course, that’s hard.

“I think the only way forward is to continue to look ahead and just follow the process, and I personally believe things will turn around.”

At least the upgrade on the AT04 for this weekend offered some degree of comfort.

“Generally the weekend was competitive,” insisted De Vries.

“We started very strong in practice and since then it went kind of south, although I think yesterday’s (sprint) race was encouraging as well.

“But in these situations, you try and grab the little positives you can grab.”

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