Nyck de Vries embroiled in legal battle over loan repayment

Nyck de Vries made his race debut in Formula 1 at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, after replacing Alex Albon at Williams.

Nyck de Vries has endured a busy start to his first season as a full-time Formula 1 driver, with the Dutchman currently at the centre of a legal dispute with real estate mogul Jeroen Schothorst.

According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, AlphaTauri’s new driver borrowed money from Schothorst to compete in Formula 2, a championship he won in 2019.

The Dutch driver has now found himself at the centre of allegations that he withheld information and violated agreements with Schothorst, who has taken the driver to court, with a decision set to be made by the judge early next month.

Schothorst is arguing that he loaned the former Mercedes reserve driver €250,000 to get the 27-year-old to the pinnacle of motorsport, something he has since achieved.

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This loan that De Vries was reportedly given, involved payment of three-percent interest every year, with the driver then having to pay 50-percent of his earnings once he reached F1.

Interestingly, the deal was set to be waived at the end of 2022; however, De Vries made his debut appearance at the Italian Grand Prix last year.

Whilst he made several FP1 appearances, De Vries replaced Alex Albon from Saturday onwards at Monza, after the Thai driver was ruled-out under medical conditions.

De Vries, of course, went on to score points on his debut, something which caught the eye of Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko; something which resulted in the Red Bull family signing De Vries for AlphaTauri.

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Given the unusual circumstances that De Vries made his rookie appearance in, he paid Schothorst €190,000 for being Mercedes’ reserve driver, with the Dutchman having then offered to repay the full loan on top of the €190,000 he’d already paid, according to his lawyers.

However, this offer was rejected by Schothorst, who has since demanded full disclosure of the driver’s contracts between 2018 and 2022.

According to the Amsterdam court, the ruling will be set on February 3.

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It certainly isn’t what De Vries would’ve been wanting ahead of his full rookie season, with the Dutchman needing a strong debut campaign in order to retain his seat at AlphaTauri for 2024.

Many have tipped the 27-year-old to outperform team-mate Yuki Tsunoda this season and perhaps even replace Sergio Pérez at Red Bull once the Mexican’s contract expires, after his remarkable debut performance for Williams.

In one race, De Vries managed to match the team’s best result of the season, whilst he also made it to Q2 for good measure.