While it could be perceived that allowing your test driver to move to a rival would be a bad idea, Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott is not concerned about the potential risks.
With Nyck de Vries moving to AlphaTauri for a full time race seat next season, Elliott has reassured fans of the Silver Arrows that the Dutchman had sensibly restricted access to data in briefing, just in case something like this did happen.
“I think more what he might take away from here is the way we work together, our processes and our systems,” said the Brit.
“We have faith in him that we can put him in the car, we can do tests with him, and we can trust him to not be looking at the things we don’t want him to look at, and I think he’ll do a good job.”
Despite the 27-year-old’s decision to leave Mercedes to race for Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri, Elliott insists there is no ill feeling in the camp about the move.
“We’re really pleased for him, for the opportunity he’s got.
“Maybe it’s a shame where he’s going, but that’s what it is,” he added.
“I think he deserves the opportunity, I think he’s shown he’s a very good driver.
“Having him in the garage has been brilliant, he’s a really nice guy, very switched on, and he understands the car.
“As I said, I guess what we want to do is to wish him luck. I think he’s been very honourable in the way he’s dealt with us, so no concerns,” Elliott concluded.
De Vries got his first taste of Formula 1 race action this season in Monza, where just hours before FP3 he found out he’d be deputising for Alex Albon at Williams, who had appendicitis.
The Dutchman impressed, outqualifying Nicholas Latifi and bringing home points in his F1 debut, leaving fans desperate to see him in a full-time seat in 2023.
De Vries will not be linking up with his new team just yet, with Mercedes still needing to complete its mandatory young driver sessions, with the Dutchman expected to take George Russell’s place in FP1 in Mexico before he can depart for AlphaTauri.