Max Verstappen reveals what he told Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries scored points on his Formula 1 debut at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.

Max Verstappen gave Nyck de Vries a “motivational speech” ahead of the 27-year-old’s debut in Formula 1 at the Italian Grand Prix.

De Vries is formerly part of the McLaren young drivers’ programme, and won the 2019 Formula 2 title, as well as the 2021 Formula E Championship with Mercedes.

However, the Dutchman had never raced in F1, and it looked as though that ship might have sailed.

The former Mercedes EQ driver has had some practice appearances this year though, taking the wheel of Alex Albon’s Williams in Spain, before replacing Sir Lewis Hamilton for first practice in France.

READ: Calls for Michael Masi to return after disappointing end to 2022 Italian GP

Last weekend, he was given a runout by Aston Martin in Monza, before he returned to his duties as Mercedes reserve driver.

However, Albon fell ill with appendicitis on Friday night, so he needed to go for surgery – from which he has now recovered despite some respiratory issues.

De Vries stepped up, and instantly out-qualified Nicholas Latifi on Saturday, qualifying 13th, before that became eighth due to grid penalties ahead of him.

The Dutchman finished the race ninth, scoring points on his debut for the team last in the Constructors’ Standings, and putting himself in the frame for a seat next year.

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Verstappen won the race in front of Ferrari’s fans after beating polesitter Charles Leclerc to the victory from seventh, and he had some kind words for his compatriot ahead of the race.

“First of all, enjoy it,” said the reigning champion in the press conference when asked what he said to de Vries.

“And, you know, don’t think about it too much, don’t stress about it too much.

“I remember my first race, it happens so quickly, everything, but, I think more importantly, if you just tell yourself, ‘we will see what happens,’ instead of really stressing ‘I need a good start, I need a good first lap.’

“You shouldn’t think about that and I think he handled everything really well, of course, but yeah it’s nice.

READ: Toto Wolff comments on Nyck de Vries’ future in Formula 1

“I mean, we know each other really well so it was just a quick little motivational speech.”

De Vries is set to leave the Mercedes programme at the end of this season, at which point seats at Williams, Alpine, Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri will all be available as it stands.

Verstappen’s win, meanwhile, puts him 116 points clear of Leclerc in the Drivers’ Standings.