With Zhou Guanyu having been the only rookie driver in 2022 and therefore having no competition for ‘Rookie of the Year’, 2023 looks set to be drastically different.
Next season will see three new rookies to Formula 1, Logan Sargeant, Oscar Piastri, and the one and only Nyck de Vries.
Focusing on De Vries, he has been an incredibly busy man this year, with the Dutchman having driven for five F1 teams during the season, whilst also completing another full year in Formula E.
The former Mercedes reserve driver appeared in FP1 for the Silver Arrows twice during the season, whilst also completing one FP1 session for Aston Martin and Williams.
As well as this, he took part in a private test for Alpine during the summer and drove for his new side AlphaTauri in the post-season rookie test.
He very nearly drove for McLaren as well at the Brazilian Grand Prix, after Lando Norris endured suspected food poisoning.
The Season Seven Formula E World Champion certainly became accustomed to a variety of cars during the year; none more so, though, than Williams’ FW44.
At the Italian Grand Prix, De Vries drove for Aston Martin during FP1, before being called in to replace Alex Albon at the Grove-based team from FP3 onwards.
This was as a result of the Thai driver being rushed to hospital for appendicitis, meaning De Vries was suddenly set to compete in his first ever F1 qualifying session and race.
He performed incredibly at Monza, with the 27-year-old having not only made it to Q2, but into the points during the race.
By finishing ninth, he matched the team’s best result of the season on his debut, something which has ultimately resulted in AlphaTauri snapping him up to replace Pierre Gasly.
Williams team principal Jost Capito discussed that extraordinary weekend in Italy, and how the Dutch driver deserves what has since been awarded to him for 2023.
“It was at first a shock with Alex,” Capito explained to RacingNews365.
“But we knew that we could definitely use a good reserve driver that we have access to – I knew him for a year and we became friends as well.
“I knew what he could do and how easily he could get into the team so it was not difficult for him.
“I was convinced he would take his chance, he’s a late-developer as well always being older than others on the same level.
“Luck comes to the guys who work hard for it – and this was a good example of that.
“He’s been around for for years, always pushing and stepping up a series and not giving up on his dream to reach Formula 1.
“Always smiling, not getting angry or disappointed – just being nice and waiting for his chance, his time.
“And if you do that for that amount of time, then he deserved what came through at the end.”
The race at Monza infamously finished behind a Safety Car, following a late on-track retirement for Daniel Ricciardo.
Shockingly, Capito revealed that had the race restarted then the team would’ve had to retire De Vries, something that would’ve potentially have had a damaging effect on his 2023 plans.
“If the race would have restarted, we would have to retire the car,” Capito admitted.
“So if it would have been one lap and the green flag, it wouldn’t have finished – and got the points. Who knows what would have happened?
“I think he deserved the luck he got and worked hard for.
“He was finally lucky but he deserved it.”