Nyck de Vries got his final chance to drive a Mercedes car on Friday, with the Silver Arrows reserve driver taking part in the young drivers’ practice session in Mexico before his move to AlphaTauri next year, where he will have a full time race seat.
The Dutchman jumped into George Russell’s car for the final time and picked up some bizarre damage when it appeared that a Mercedes mechanic actually broke his front wing.
As the mechanic went to jack up the wing, it appeared to pop just where the nose cone meets the main body of the car, causing a crack and some debris to fly off.
De Vries was eventually able to get going but the mechanic will be concerned that despite how innocuous the damage may have seemed, that part could be worth up to $300,000 which would be a big expense for the Silver Arrows.
De Vries made sure to express his gratitude for his experience at Mercedes over the team radio, thanking the team for all they have done for him over the years, with the team wishing him the best of luck in the future in return.
The Dutchman’s move to AlphaTauri came with a bit of confusion, with a man who has been around Mercedes all season making the switch to a Red Bull owned team, taking with him potentially sensitive data and understanding of the car.
Technical director for Mercedes Mike Elliott has said that there are no ill feelings surrounding the move and that the team have no concerns about De Vries taking and data across, with the Silver Arrows being sensible with what data they expose the Dutchman to.
The 27-year-old announced himself to the Formula 1 world with a stunning debut earlier this season in Monza, with a points scoring finish while covering for Alex Albon at Williams.
The Dutchman only found out he would be driving for the team before the final practice session, with Albon suffering from appendicitis, and went on to out qualify teammate Nicholas Latifi and beat him in the race.
De Vries was apparently on Williams’ shortlist to replace the Canadian for next year, however AlphaTauri got their man after Pierre Gasly announced his move to Alpine, opening up the seat for the Dutchman to come in for 2023.