Nyck De Vries: finally!(?)

Columns: From Kart to F1
Rather than the much-discussed race ending, we like to focus on the more than positive, long-hoped-for debut of one of the best drivers of his generation, a great kart racer, Nyck De Vries. Hard, at this point, to deny him a steering wheel for next season.

Several times in recent years we have pointed out that the Dutchman was one of the drivers who, on balance, based on his own track record as a professional driver, deserved a place in Formula 1. We reiterated this at the end of 2021 when it looked like a place in Williams was a done thing but the team's top management did not dare to prefer him to the more 'experienced' Albon. There is no denying that the Thai, former Red Bull scion, has done well so far but we are glad that fate wanted to give Nick back one of those historic opportunities and one that could (the conditional is a must) change his story: a sudden hospitalization of the starting driver that frees up a grid spot on the Friday night before one of the most iconic GPs in existence - not Abu Dhabi or the parking lot of the Miami stadium - but Monza is and remains a legend of Motorsport and debuting at Monza is not just any debut.

A great debut, if we look at Nicky's performance over the two days of the Monza weekend - yes, because he on Friday lapped under "contract" with another car (the Aston Martin) and without knowing that he would be starting for another team the next morning - he did not disappoint. Just as fast as his teammate after just getting into the car, in the afternoon he smoothly earned his way into Q2 without problems and, thanks to a few penalties from the other drivers, found himself starting 8th in his first career GP.

In the race, he made no mistakes at the start, and if we take away a "reprimand" taken by race direction for a maneuver under a safety car (given to him because it was his first GP and it was reasonably felt that the driver might not be so accustomed to the regulations regarding minimum distances under the safety car, ed....) he was perfect in resisting Zhou's attacks and taking good advantage of the slipstreams and DRS. Perhaps 1991 is too far away and few remember Briatore rushing to London to talk to Jordan and Michael Schumacher's manager in the aftermath of Spa (where the German, replacing Gachot, made it clear what he was made of… ) to put the future 7-time World Champion on his Benetton as early as the next race, but with a summer spent following "the Piastri case," with a Team Alpine said to be ready to evaluate up to 14 drivers for its 2023 seat, to us that De Vries could be left without a seat again next year seems a far greater absurdity than a race finish under the safety car.
If you want to know Nick De Vries' karting background, we covered it here:


Created by: fmarangon - 12/09/22

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