Nyck de Vries criticises his former friends after F1 switch

Nyck de Vries grabbed the attention of AlphaTauri after scoring points on his F1 debut for Williams at the Italian GP.

2023 rookie Nyck de Vries has revealed how some former friends of his tried to reignite a relationship with him following his switch from Formula E to Formula 1, following an incredible debut at Monza.

De Vries has been linked to the F1 paddock ever since he won the Formula 2 World Championship in 2019, with the 27-year-old having become a Mercedes reserve driver.

Whilst supporting the Brackley-based team, he also raced for Mercedes-EQ in Formula E, where he became the sport’s first World Champion in 2021.

Despite a poor attempt at retaining his title in 2022, De Vries continued to make free practice appearances for Mercedes and customer teams of the Germans, most notably, Williams.

READ: Mick Schumacher posts heart-warming birthday message as Michael turns 54

The 2022 Italian Grand Prix, though, is where his life changed, as after competing FP1 for Aston Martin, the Dutch driver was called up to replace Alex Albon at Williams, after the Thai driver was diagnosed with appendicitis.

De Vries jumped in Albon’s car from FP3, where he remarkably went on to make it to Q2, before claiming a points finish in his first F1 race.

His performance caught the attention of AlphaTauri who announced at Suzuka that he’d be replacing Pierre Gasly in 2023, meaning he’ll make his full rookie appearance in just a couple of months’ time.

This reward, though, for his hard work has seen people trying to get a bite of De Vries’ fame as an F1 rookie, something he labels as “shameless”.

Article continues below

“It’s extraordinary how shameless some people are,” De Vries told De Telegraaf.

“Types you haven’t heard from in a long time or who haven’t exactly been my biggest supporters and then they contact me again.

“I’m also not concerned with how I’m perceived by the outside world. This will be my first year in Formula 1. I would like to command respect through my performance and not through what I say on television. I will remain the same guy as before, in that respect nothing will change.”

Incredibly, up until now, De Vries has managed himself, with his father and sister working on other areas of his career.

He has finally accepted the help, though, of a manager, with De Vries having hired Guillaume Le Goff, who also looks after Gasly.

De Vries has known Le Goff for “more than 10 years”, meaning he fits into the Dutchman’s criteria of having people around him he can “trust”.

“It feels like it has come full circle again,” he said.

READ: Max Verstappen makes surprising claim about winning second title

“My father and mother split up when I was two years old. I grew up with my dad and my sister. It sounds a little annoying, but our family has always revolved around my career and racing. Especially in the early years and now there is so much involved.

“I need people around me that I trust and can build on. Guillaume, for example, I have also known for more than 10 years. My sister will take care of merchandise, the webshop and things like that. And in the background, my father also takes care of a lot of things for me.

“Especially after that race in Monza, all kinds of people suddenly came my way who wanted something from me. I do have to shield myself from that.”