Mercedes admit ‘regret’ about Nyck de Vries joining Red Bull

Nyck de Vries has cut ties with Mercedes to race for Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri this season.

At the age of 27, the Formula 1 dream appeared to be fading away from Formula 2 and Formula E champion Nyck de Vries last season.

The Dutchman had been serving as Mercedes’ reserve driver, but a race seat seemed almost unattainable given the amount of fresh, young talent entering the sport every season.

De Vries was given a chance to impress in Monza however, as he was called up at very short notice to stand in for Alex Albon at Williams, with the Thai driver being taken to hospital with appendicitis.

The stand-in driver’s performance was spectacular, as De Vries went on to finish in P9 in arguably the slowest car on the grid, significantly outperforming his one-off teammate Nicholas Latifi.

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This performance made De Vries hot property in F1, with many clubs circling around the Dutchman.

De Vries eventually signed for Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri after Mercedes refused to stand in the way of his departure from the team, something which the team may regret in the opinion of Mercedes’ trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin.

“I have no doubt Nyck has the ability to win races if he is with the right team and with the right car,” Sholvin claims in the new book ‘Max and Nyck’.

“Whether he can become world champion will be down to him. He has less time to achieve it given his age, but he makes up for that with his experience.

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“We had an agreement with Nyck that if we couldn’t put him with a Mercedes team, he could go for the best option. And we might regret letting him go.

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“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not long when we’re racing against him in the Red Bull factory team. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that happened in the next 12 months or so.”

With De Vries being a good friend of fellow Dutchman Max Verstappen, it has been heavily rumoured that he could make a move to partner the two-time world champion, should he impress in his time with AlphaTauri.

Serio Perez’s contract expires at the end of 2024, giving De Vries two season to prove to Red Bull that he is worthy of a seat with the team alongside his childhood friend.