SportF1De Vries dodges the sanction and makes a big...

De Vries dodges the sanction and makes a big debut in F1

The Formula E champion in the 2020/2021 season received the surprise call from Williams to replace Alexander Albon on Saturday morning after the Thai driver was affected by appendicitis.

Nyck de Vries qualified in a solid 13th position before benefiting from other drivers’ penalties and moving up to eighth place that had him dreaming of points.

Ultimately, the Dutchman only dropped one place and finished ninth on his debut, maintaining that result after being investigated by the FIA for an “erratic driving” offense for which he received a reprimand.

Speaking about his big debut, de Vries said: “The last 24 hours have been a dream.”

“I haven’t had much time to think because it was all so rushed. I slept really badly, I went from excited to nervous and I didn’t even dare look at the sleep tracking app because basically I spent the whole sleepless night”.

“But maybe that helped me. I couldn’t think and just had to keep doing my job.”

“My start wasn’t very good, but it was enough to keep the position, and I think it was key for me to pick up the pace at the beginning and not lose the place [because] then the tires degrade and everything starts to fall”.

“That’s why I was very happy with our strategy and how we managed it. And, in fact, the pace was very good, the car was running very well. We made a small adjustment from the first to the second stint which also worked.”

“I asked the team for help to use the car’s tools to influence its balance.”

“Yeah, I know we had a little help with the grid penalties and all that. But hey, nobody takes these points away from us,” he concluded with a big smile.

Nyck de Vries, Williams Racing

De Vries came very close to receiving a track limit penalty in the race, but according to him it was because at one point the “high speed balance” of his car was off and that forced him to go out in the lesmo section.

“At the beginning of the race I wasn’t too happy with the high-speed balance,” he added.

“And that always forced me to go a little wide. It was difficult for me to turn, especially in the two corners of Lesmo, and that forced me to open up more.”

“So after the second stint adjustments, I felt the balance was better and that helped me to be more clean with the limits of the track.”

De Vries revealed that fellow Dutchman Max Verstappen gave him some advice ahead of his F1 debut, saying he “appreciates” the support he received from various drivers over the weekend.

“It was nice,” said de Vries when asked what the Red Bull driver had said to him on the grid.

“We exchanged some messages last night, including this morning. Lewis Hamilton congratulated me, everyone has been very supportive and very nice.

“Max [Verstappen] just came up to me and said ‘it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay. You just have to have a good start to the race and come out ahead.'”

“I really appreciate all that support, and I’m also very grateful to the fans who have voted me Driver of the Day,” he concluded.

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