AlphaTauri announced this Saturday that 2019 Formula 2 champion Nyck De Vries will join the team for next year as Yuki Tsunoda’s teammate, replacing a Pierre Gasly who has finally been released to join Alpine. .
The 27-year-old Dutchman made his Formula 1 debut by surprise replacing an Alexander Albon who had to leave the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday morning due to appendicitis. De Vries had a great weekend, adding his first two points and surprising everyone present.
That made AlphaTauri, who had initially set his sights on IndyCar driver Colton Herta, set his new target on De Vries, looking for a replacement for Gasly, who wanted to leave the Austrian structure to sign for his countrymen. from Alpine.
Speaking at Suzuka on Saturday about his compatriot’s announcement, Max Verstappen revealed that he had a private dinner with de Vries after the Monza weekend and encouraged him to call Helmut Marko to see if he stood a chance next year.
“We had dinner the day after Monza, and I told him, just give [Marko] a call, you never know what can happen ,” Verstappen said when asked by Motorsport.com if he had put in a good word for de Vries at the top. Red Bull leaders.
“It was the right time to call him. Helmut was probably still emotional on Monday after Sunday’s race. So everything went well, and I’m very happy for him.”
The opportunity for the Dutch driver comes after a sporting career of continuous changes, something that has also seen him win the Formula 2 and Formula E championships, as well as racing in the World Endurance Championship and even receiving the opportunity to jump into IndyCar during this month of May.
Nyck De Vries has been on the Mercedes F1 grid for the past two years as a reserve driver, enjoying sporadic appearances alongside Brackley, Williams and also Aston Martin in the mandatory FP1 sessions for a rookie driver.
Verstappen explained that de Vries had been “pushing for a long time” and that it was “unbelievable” that he was finally getting an opportunity to drive in F1 full-time.
And he said his big weekend at Monza meant there was “no longer anything to discuss” about his abilities to land a Formula 1 seat, which is why Marko was always open to seizing the opportunity.
“Helmut is a guy that when he likes someone, he doesn’t hesitate to give him a car, whereas maybe other teams are a bit more careful,” Verstappen said.
“It’s great news. Obviously, we’re also good friends,” he concluded.