Nyck de Vries became hot property in Formula 1 following his stunning weekend in Monza earlier this year, when the Dutchman was forced to deputise for Alex Albon who was battling with appendicitis.
The 27-year-old reportedly only found out that he would be racing for Williams just minutes before the final practice session, which makes his point scoring finish and demolition of teammate Nicholas Latifi even more impressive.
This performance was enough to convince a number of teams to give De Vries a chance in F1, with AlphaTauri eventually being able to pry the Dutchman away from his reserve driver role at Mercedes.
De Vries will become the second Dutchman on the grid next year, and has releveled that he has a strong bond with currently champion Max Verstappen.
“On the Monday after Monza, Max told me ‘I helped you a bit to keep [Guanyu] Zhou behind you’. We grew up in the sport together and have known each other very well from an early age.
“I think we differ a lot in terms of character, but Max is now just dominating our sport and I really think that’s great to see. Very impressive how he does that.”
AlphaTauri will have a strange dynamic to its driver pairing next year, with 22-year-old Yuki Tsunoda having two years of experience under his belt, while 27-year-old De Vries will technically still be a rookie.
De Vries has now admitted that he thought his window to enter F1 had come and gone, almost resigning himself to a reserve driver role for the rest of his career.
The Dutchman won the F2 championship back in 2019, but somehow was never selected for a race seat in F1 while others around him made the step up.
“In all honesty, I no longer saw Formula 1 as a realistic opportunity, but I kept grabbing the opportunities that came my way,” admitted the 27-year-old.
“I was there and I’ve been travelling to races for the last two years, but really for nothing. With that attitude I just sat in the VIP lounge on Saturdays having a coffee.”
De Vries will be joined by Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri as the rookies on the grid next season, as a new wave of Formula 1 drivers look to stamp their authority on the sport.