Mercedes hail Nyck de Vries as he targets Sergio Perez’s seat

Nyck de Vries made his F1 debut at the Italian Grand Prix last season, where he replaced Alex Albon.

Mercedes technical director Andrew Shovlin believes the team’s former reserve driver Nyck de Vries “has the talent to win races” in Formula 1, given the “experience” that the Dutchman boasts.

De Vries, of course, departed the Germans at the end of 2022 to take a race seat at AlphaTauri, meaning he’s entering the forthcoming season as one of the three rookies on the grid.

By joining AlphaTauri, he’s also joined the family of Mercedes’ biggest rivals, Red Bull.

For the Red Bull family to sign De Vries for their sister team despite him being 28 years old, shows how highly the Austrians rate him, suggesting that perhaps the energy drink company have bigger plans for the rookie driver.

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De Vries is certainly incredibly fast, with the Dutch driver having matched Williams’ best result of the season at Monza last year, after replacing Alex Albon.

De Vries was called up to replace Albon from FP3 onwards, after the Thai driver was sent to hospital with appendicitis.

He remarkably made it to Q2 in qualifying before finishing ninth in the race, something which immediately caught the attention of Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko.

De Vries had a meeting with Marko not long after the debut, before being announced as an AlphaTauri driver for 2023 at the Japanese Grand Prix.

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Whilst he is certainly one of the oldest rookies in recent F1 history, he does boast a wealth of experience.

He claimed the Formula 2 World Championship in 2019 before winning the Formula E World Championship in 2021, proving that he’s certainly no slouch.

When completing FP1 for Mercedes or a Mercedes-powered team, De Vries has always done a stellar job, further suggesting that Red Bull could possibly have a future main team driver on their hands.

Many have pondered whether Red Bull see De Vries as Sergio Pérez’s successor, given that the Mexican is only contracted until the end of 2024.

Promoting De Vries would be logical, given his relationship with Max Verstappen and especially if he outperforms Yuki Tsunoda in the forthcoming season.

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Shovlin is certain that De Vries will deliver fantastic results if he’s given the tools to do so, despite the fact he has more to learn in less time, given his age.

“I am convinced that Nyck has the talent to win races if he is with the right team with the right car,” Shovlin said, in the soon to be released book Max & Nyck, written by Ivo Pakvis and Stijn Keuris.

“Whether he can become world champion depends on many things. He has less time to achieve that given his age, but he makes up for that with his experience.”