Toto Wolff reveals wish after losing star driver to Red Bull

Nyck de Vries replaced Alex Albon at the Italian GP from FP3 onwards, making a shock rookie appearance in the sport.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted that he did consider re-signing Nyck de Vries, who is set to become a star for Red Bull.

The 2019 F2 World Champion and Season Seven Formula E World Champion grabbed AlphaTauri’s attention following his shock points finish at the Italian Grand Prix, after filling in for the medically ruled-out Alex Albon.

Given how little time the former Mercedes reserve driver had behind the wheel of Albon’s FW44 at Monza, his performance and P9 finish were truly exceptional.

As a result, Red Bull poached the Dutch driver and slotted him into AlphaTauri for 2023, replacing Pierre Gasly, who’s switched to Alpine.

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Interestingly, Wolff considered re-signing De Vries, to keep him out of their rival’s clutches.

“I thought about it,” Wolff admitted.

The Mercedes boss has no hard feelings towards the Dutch driver, though, and is hoping that he can be “successful” at the Faenza-based team.

Wolff would even like to see De Vries race for Red Bull one day, to give Mercedes a chance to “fight it out” with their former reserve driver.

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“I hope that he’s successful in AlphaTauri,” said Wolff.

“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.”

De Vries’ incredible performance at Monza was the 27-year-old’s real big break, with him having certainly made the most of his chance in Italy.

Speculation about a move to AlphaTauri grew rapidly following his points finish, with De Vries having revealed just how fast everything was discussed and signed for 2023.

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“I had dinner with Max on Monday evening in Monaco to kind of celebrate [the weekend],” De Vries told F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast.

“We talked about it openly, about the possibilities and opportunities. We talked about potentially AlphaTauri, Dr Marko, and that’s how it went. Later that week I was seen in Graz. We had a great time together.

“We spent two days eating Austrian local food, talking about the future together. He has a good sense of humour and we respected each other.

“I think he appreciated me for being there, representing myself, and having the conversations with him directly. Red Bull is all about performance and winning, and I share that, so it was very straightforward and enjoyable.”