Nyck de Vries warns of dangerous precedent as Red Bull driver deal set to fall apart

Nyck de Vries put in a splendid performance at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix when he filled in for Alex Albon at Williams.

Williams driver, Nyck de Vries, believes that waiving the rules to allow Colton Herta into Formula 1 would set a dangerous precedent.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly has been strongly linked with the Alpine seat left vacant by Fernando Alonso after reserve driver, Oscar Piastri, agreed to join McLaren next year.

The French team would need to buy out Gasly’s contract if they were to capture him, as he has a deal to stay with Red Bull and its junior team until the end of next year.

Not only would the price need to be right, but any move for the 26-year-old would be contingent on Red Bull finding a replacement.

READ: ‘Nicholas Latifi would be emptying his locker’: Nyck de Vries impresses at Monza

The team’s adviser, Dr Helmut Marko, is not convinced by the young talent in Formula 2 at the moment, so he does not want to put any of his juniors in the AlphaTauri car just yet.

Herta has won four races in IndyCar in as many years, but the Andretti driver only has 32 of the required 40 points to qualify for a superlicense.

IndyCar, in the FIA’s eyes, does not hold the same value as F2 or Formula 3 regarding superlicense qualification, but Red Bull believe it should.

They are therefore mulling over making a case to the governing body about granting an exemption for the American, who tested with McLaren earlier this year.

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De Vries contested a practice session with Aston Martin this weekend, a year after he won the Formula E title with Mercedes EQ.

The Dutchman claimed the F2 Championship in 2019, and he does have enough superlicense points to compete in the pinnacle of motorsport.

De Vries then qualified an impressive 13th for Williams after taking the place of Alex Albon during final practice after the Thai-Briton came down with appendicitis.

He finished the race in P9 after being bumped the starting grid due to many drivers being handed grid penalties.

The 27-year-old would like to see the superlicense rules “respected” amid speculation around Herta’s future.

“I trust in the governing body and I think rules are there to be respected,” he said.

“There are plenty of other drivers in the market that have the super-license points, and the necessity is not necessarily that high to go and give someone a dispensation to give a super-license.

“It will give an incorrect precedent and example to Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships.

“I think it will be a shame if we jeopardise our system, and I also think it’s unnecessary.” 

Due to grid penalties, de Vries will start the Italian Grand Prix eighth, and he was delighted with his qualifying performance following the late call-up. 

“Certainly not,” he told Sky Sports when asked if this was what he envisioned for his weekend.

“When I received the call, I was actually up in the paddock club for an appearance, I was literally drinking cappuccino, and chilling and waiting.

“And then obviously yeah, I received the call from Mercedes, who asked me to come down ASAP and then I was forwarded to Williams.

“So, exciting times, obviously I feel very sorry for Alex and I hope that he is okay and wishing him a speedy recovery.

“But, for me, it is obviously a very unique opportunity, very last minute, only one-and-a-half hours prior to FP3.

“And that’s such limited time to get ready, you only have two sets in FP3 to get ready, hence why I’m not entirely satisfied.

READ: Christian Horner comments on Red Bull’s ‘desire’ to replace Pierre Gasly

“Because I think our session wasn’t quite as smooth as I would have liked, and we made some mistakes, and it wasn’t perfect.

“But nevertheless, I think I can also be quite satisfied with what we did.”

Having put on such a fine display, de Vries has potentially put himself in contention to replace team-mate Nicholas Latifi, who is out of contract at the end of this season.