De Vries has “nothing else to do” to claim 2023 Williams F1 seat


Mercedes reserve driver de Vries was called up by Williams shortly before the FP3 session of the Italian Grand Prix to replace Alex Albon, who was ill with appendicitis.

The 2019 Formula 2 champion and 2020-21 Formula E title winner immediately impressed by beating Albon’s regular team-mate Nicholas Latifi and after a barrage of penalties he started eighth alongside compatriot Max Verstappen.

De Vries backed that up with a flawless performance on Sunday, maintaining his position in the midfield of the DRS train and successfully defending his position to ninth, earning two valuable points for Williams.

The result matched Albon’s best result of the year and highlighted De Vries’ credibility to take over Latifi’s seat for 2023, with Capito acknowledging that he over-delivered.

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When asked by TBEN whether there is anything else De Vries can do to claim a seat next year, Capito suggested that the ball is now in his court.

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“No, he doesn’t have to do anything else,” Capito said. “He has other obligations too, doesn’t he?

“He has done an absolutely excellent job and I value him extremely highly. That is why my expectations are extremely high and he has exceeded them.”

“It’s so hard to get in that car to race for two hours and do qualifying, without making mistakes and not driving alone.

“He had to defend, he had to attack. He had to do a lap and not make a mistake, then he had to do the pit stop. It’s just so complicated and it’s an excellent job.”

Nyck de Vries, Williams FW44, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

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With an Alpine seat also up for grabs, it remains to be seen if Williams is de Vries’ best possible chance for next year. The 27-year-old joked after the race that he “may need to prepare a PowerPoint” to sell his services, referring to George Russell’s pitch to Williams that helped him secure a ride for 2019.

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“And every time you get the chance to drive a Formula 1 car, it’s like a job interview and an audition,” he added.

Pressing further on De Vries’ availability for 2023, Capito said: “I don’t know, you have to ask him what his contraction situations are.

“You just saw how messy it can be, and we’re not known for being messy.

“I don’t do hypothetical things, so I’m only interested in facts. If the facts are there, then maybe there are solutions…”

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De Vries is currently signed to Toyota’s World Endurance Championship squad as a reserve driver with a view to a race seat in 2023 and has also been linked with a move to the Venturi-run Maserati Formula E team, with his current team Mercedes withdrawing from the electric championship and become McLaren.

In three weeks he will be ready again at the Singapore Grand Prix, in case Albon has not yet recovered sufficiently from his appendicitis.

On Monday, Williams announced that Albon suffered from respiratory problems after the procedure, with the Thai driver having to spend time in intensive care.

But with Albon being released from hospital on Tuesday, the team hopes he can recover in time.

“Alex’s full focus is on recovery and preparation for the Singapore Grand Prix later this month,” it said on Monday.