‘It was a kind of snowball effect’: Ex-McLaren driver unhappy with 2022 season

Nyck de Vries' Formula E title defence ran rather flat this season.

Nyck de Vries is pleased for his team after the Mercedes EQ Formula E side wrapped up the teams’ title last weekend in Seoul, while Stoffel Vandoorne was crowned drivers’ champion.

De Vries came into the current season as the reigning champion following a fantastic campaign last year, and his defence started well as he won in Diriyah.

However, a series of unsatisfactory results meant that his next win did not arrive until the eighth round of the season in Berlin.

That was also the Dutchman’s second podium of the season, and he did not achieve another one until he ended the second London race in third.

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He was already out of title contention by then, with Vandoorne, Mitch Evans and Edoardo Mortara all gunning for glory heading into the final weekend in South Korea.

Mortara was an outsider going into the final two rounds, so he needed a miracle to claim the championship, but his dreams were ended by a reliability failure in the first race.

The Swiss would have the final word though as he won the second of the two races, while Vandoorne finished fifth and second on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Evans gave himself a shot by winning the first E-Prix, but his seventh-placed finish in the final round confirmed a second-placed finish ahead of Mortara, but behind champion Vandoorne.

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Mercedes also saw off Venturi for the team’s championship despite de Vries failing to finish either of the last two races.

The second retirement came as a result of a crash with Pascal Wehrlein, who would furiously exclaim that he hopes the 27-year-old does not get to Formula 1.

Sadly, their incident at Turn One rather summed up de Vries’ season which, despite a promising start, never really got going therein.

“A disappointing end to my race, but a fantastic result for the team,” he said in the team’s press release.

“The only thing that counts today is that we won both World Championships. I’m obviously disappointed that I didn’t finish, but fortunately that didn’t change anything.”

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Free practice outings for Williams and Mercedes in F1 have been a welcome distraction for de Vries during what has been a tough pill to swallow in the all-electric series.

The former McLaren development driver readily accepted that this just has not been his year.

“I’m not happy with the way my season went, of course, but it wasn’t always apparent from the outside what the problem was,” he explained.

“It was a kind of snowball effect of small things that meant we weren’t able to score points on a consistent basis.”

The Mercedes EQ team is set to be replaced by McLaren for season nine, but it is yet to be seen whether either de Vries or Vandoorne are in Zak Brown’s plans, given the enormous pool of talent the CEO has at his disposal.