Nyck de Vries fired firm Max Verstappen warning

Nyck de Vries will make his full rookie appearance at the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend, after leaving his reserve position at Mercedes.

Ahead of his first full season in Formula 1, Nyck de Vries has been advised by AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost to avoid comparing himself to fellow Dutchman Max Verstappen, who is seen as somewhat of a hero in The Netherlands.

Verstappen is a Dutch legend, with the 25-year-old always having virtually unmatched support no matter where in the world Formula 1 races, with a plume of orange smoke a regular occurrence now at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Whilst De Vries will be well supported by the Dutch fans, Tost has warned him to focus on himself for the time being and to leave the media to make potential comparisons, to avoid making his life “very difficult”.

“The media can do it, as long as Nyck doesn’t get involved with it himself,” Tost said.

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“That would be the worst possible thing he can do – to compare himself with Max Verstappen.

“Max is an incredibly skilled driver of unprecedented speed, who works with the best engineers in Formula 1. If you immediately start comparing yourself to that, it becomes very difficult.

“Nyck’s mind cannot be there now. He just has to sit in that car, do his best and then results will come naturally.”

Whilst De Vries is a rookie, he’s expected to deliver strong results from the moment the season gets underway in Bahrain, given his experience.

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De Vries is older than the average F1 rookie nowadays, with the Dutch driver having recently celebrated his 28th birthday.

With age comes experience, though, something he boasts a substantial amount of from various categories.

He’s the 2019 Formula 2 World Champion and more recently the 2021 Formula E World Champion, highlighting his ability to adapt to different championships.

It’s been previously stated that De Vries is actually expected to perform better than team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, despite 2023 being the Japanese driver’s third season at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Tost is hopeful that De Vries’ experience will work in the Faenza-based team’s favour this season, with the aim being for the Dutch driver to “reach Q3 all the time”.

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“With today’s quite complicated Formula 1 cars, it is important to have someone with more technical experience,” he said.

“Someone who has won in the different categories, races and championships.

“So I hope that we can immediately give him a car that he deserves, which is to reach Q3 all the time and score as many points as possible.”