De Vries mulls over ‘racing fight’ with Magnussen
By Ian Parkes
Tuesday 20th June, 2023 - 7:38pm
Nyck de Vries has declared his untidy scrap with Kevin Magnussen during the Canadian Grand Prix as “a racing-fight incident”.
On lap 35 of the 70-lap race at Montréal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the duo were running 12th and 13th, with Mercedes’ George Russell immediately behind them as he attempted to fight his way back through after hitting a wall on lap 12.
Under braking heading into Turn 1, AlphaTauri driver De Vries cut down the inside of Magnussen in his Haas, with the duo banging wheels on the exit, forcing both to run wide on the entry to Turn 2, which allowed Russell to duck underneath the pair.
With greater momentum on the short run to Turn 3, De Vries again attempted to pass Magnussen, but locked up his left-front.
As Magnussen tried to turn in, his front-right wheel hit the left-rear of De Vries, forcing both to take to the narrow escape road.
Both drivers were forced to reverse before returning to the track, albeit falling to 18th and 19th respectively and wrecking the outside chance that existed of either scoring points.
“It was a decent race up until that point,” said De Vries, who is still yet to score a point in his maiden rookie campaign with the team.
“I guess we were just racing each other hard through (Turns) one, two. I undercut, braked hard into three, but locked up and went straight. It was a racing-fight incident.
“I thought I kind of had him (out of Turn 1) but then he kind of almost went through the grass on the kerb to get me back. We were just fighting. I guess that’s racing.”
Although in 13th position and just over five seconds back on 10th-placed Alex Albon in his Williams at that stage, De Vries felt that finishing in the top 10 was not on the cards.
“Realistically, I don’t think a point would have been fair,” assessed the Dutch driver.
“Certainly we would have finished higher up, but if we are honest with ourselves, I don’t think we had the package to fight for points.”
It has been a depressing season so far for AlphaTauri which is currently languishing in last position in the constructors’ standings with just two points to its name from a pair of 10th-placed finishes for Yuki Tsunoda in Australia and Azerbaijan.
“As a team, we’re just lacking a little bit overall in terms of competitiveness and pace,” said De Vries.
“Quite a few of our competitors also brought updates for the weekend (in Canada) so we’ll need to see and understand where we are relative to them.
“We will see where we can improve and come back for the Red Bull Ring.”
F1 returns with the Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg from June 30-July 2.