De Vries claims he missed out on F1 seat to Norris and Russell due to crashes

Nyck de Vries impressed at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, when he filled in for Alex Albon at Williams.

Rookie Nyck de Vries is preparing to make his full debut in Formula 1 this weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Dutchman set to compete against several of his former rivals.

At 28 years old, De Vries is certainly one of the more experienced rookies, with the 2019 Formula 2 World Champion and 2021 Formula E World Champion aiming to start his F1 career in excellent fashion.

He did, of course, replace Alex Albon from FP3 onwards at the Italian Grand Prix last season, with the Thai driver having been sent to hospital with appendicitis.

De Vries actually knows the likes of Albon, Lando Norris, and George Russell incredibly well, due to having fought them in F2 in 2018.

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The Dutchman finished fourth that season, with Russell, who was dating De Vries’ sister at the time, Norris and Albon, having all gained F1 seats for 2019 after finishing in the top three.

De Vries would’ve likely finished second or third that season had he not retired on a couple of occasions when fighting for the win, in what was an ultra-competitive season for F2.

Whilst Russell claimed the title that year, some have questioned if De Vries would’ve been promoted to F1 in 2019 had he finished ahead of Norris and Albon, who moved to McLaren and AlphaTauri respectively.

The Dutch driver has had to work relentlessly hard to get to F1, with his route having certainly been less than ideal.

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Just in single-seaters alone, De Vries spent three seasons in Formula E whilst also being Mercedes’ reserve driver, whilst he watched on as his former F2 competitors raced in F1.

Reflecting on the 2018 F2 season, De Vries is convinced that he could’ve finished higher than fourth, but that his “own mistakes” cost him the chance of finishing in the top three.

“If it were not for a few of my own mistakes, we would have been able to finish P2 or P3 [in the championship],” de Vries told the AlphaTauri podcast.

“We had very good pace, we won a good amount of races (five in the season), but I just made too many expensive mistakes, and especially in Formula 2 where you have the feature and sprint races, it can ruin a weekend.

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“There were two times we were fighting for the win and I crashed, that means you basically lose two weekends.

“The top three, George, Lando and Alex were promoted to Formula 1, and I finished fourth and, in all honesty, I just looked at myself because I felt like it was my own mistake that I wasn’t able to score more points.

“We definitely had the pace, and had more wins than people in front of us (three to one vs Norris), but I just lost too many points in situations where we were actually able to score big points.”