Nyck de Vries appears to be a step closer to joining AlphaTauri, after confirming that he did indeed meet Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko.
The Mercedes reserve driver has been on Alpine’s and Williams’ radar for a while now; however, his unbelievable rookie performance at the Italian Grand Prix instantly caught the attention of Red Bull and sister side AlphaTauri.
The Dutchman was called up to replace Alex Albon at Williams prior to FP3 at Monza, after the Thai driver was diagnosed with appendicitis.
De Vries performed unbelievably, after making it not only to Q2, but then matching the team’s best result of the season so far in the race.
The season seven Formula E World Champion incredibly scored points on his debut, with a solid ninth place finish.
He made a mockery of team-mate Nicholas Latifi, who is now in P21 in the Driver’s Championship due to having not scored a single point yet.
Latifi is highly likely to be dropped by Williams, following his disastrous season; however, De Vries isn’t the favourite to replace him.
De Vries is very much expected to replace Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri should the Frenchman move to Alpine, which again, is very much expected.
If for some reason Gasly doesn’t move to the French side, then De Vries may move to the Enstone-based team himself.
De Vries is one of a number of drivers to be testing for Alpine at the Hungaroring next week, as the French side consider their options.
AlphaTauri appear to be leading the chase to sign De Vries, though, after the Dutch driver confirmed on Dutch television show Humberto op Zaterdag that he had travelled to Austria to meet Marko.
“I don’t quite know if I’m in such a luxury situation that I can choose,” he said.
“Largely, that is beyond my control. I have been in talks with Williams for a long time and I was also able to make my debut there last weekend.
“That would be a logical step. Alpine I have been in contact with since July, and I will test for them in Budapest next week. I will fly there on Monday.
“And as the media had noticed yesterday, I went to Austria to meet Helmut Marko. Those are the facts.”
Having waited so long for his opportunity at the pinnacle of motorsport, the Dutchman isn’t fussed about who he drives for; however, he is aware that there is “momentum” going in his favour.
“Wherever I can get a permanent seat, I would be very happy with that,” he added.
“We have to see how it will develop in the coming days and weeks. As I said, it’s not entirely in my control.
“In this world not everything is about performance, but there is momentum now. That makes a difference, but it doesn’t guarantee a seat. We are not that far yet.”
Considering where Williams have been for the majority of the season, it’s frankly astonishing that the 27-year-old matched Albon’s best result of the season on his debut, without FP1 or FP2 in the FW44.
The Mercedes reserve loved the weekend, in what was a “dream come true” for him.
“The weekend itself was fantastic and went by in a flash,” he said.
“It was a dream come true and we finished it successfully. What happened afterwards, I couldn’t really imagine.
“On the Monday afternoon, I was back to reality myself fairly quickly. I’m busy with the future now. But all the messages and congratulations I received were very special. It’s nice to receive the support from everyone.”