Toto Wolff admits he thought about signing Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries will race for AlphaTauri this year, after Mercedes allowed their reserve driver to join Red Bull’s sister team.

The Grand Prix in Monza is always filled with surprises, 2020 saw Pierre Gasly win with AlphaTauri, 2021 saw Daniel Ricciardo win with McLaren and 2022 saw a substitute driver jump into the cockpit with very little notice and blow his team’s expectations out of the water.

With Alex Albon having to leave the circuit after Friday’s practice session, as it was revealed he was suffering with appendicitis, Nyck de Vries was loaned to Williams from Mercedes to stand in for the Thai driver, just hours before FP3.

The Dutchman made it through to Q2 in arguably the slowest car on the grid and then stunningly scored points on his F1 debut, demolishing his temporary teammate Nicholas Latifi.

It became obvious after this performance that the 2019 Formula 2 champion would be picked up by a F1 team for a full-time race seat in 2023, but with multiple teams interested it was unclear exactly who De Vries would join.

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Eventually, De Vries signed for AlphaTauri from Mercedes after giving Helmut Marko a call to explain that he was a free agent come the end of the season.

With their third driver having clearly earned his opportunity in F1, Mercedes made no effort to stand in the way of De Vries’ move to their rivals and team principal Toto Wolff has now revealed that he initially considered bringing the Dutchman back to Mercedes.

“I thought about it,” Wolff told when asked if he considered bring De Vries back to the Silver Arrows.

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“[But I hope] that he stays there, and I hope that he’s successful in AlphaTauri.

“I hope he will be so good to make it into a Red Bull seat one day, because he deserves that. And then we take it like sportsmen, and we fight it out.”

With De Vries being a good friend of current Red Bull driver and world champion Max Verstappen, it does not seem too farfetched to suggest that the 27-year-old could replace Sergio Perez when the Mexican’s contract expires, should his performances impress Red Bull.