Nyc k de Vries had a dream F1 debut as a last-minute call-up to Williams as he replaced the unwell Alex Albon at Monza. De Vries started the Italian Grand Prix weekend after an FP1 appearance for Aston Martin, but was then picked by the rival team Williams when Albon was sidelined with appendicitis ahead of Saturday's track action.
De Vries finished ninth in the main race in the Italian GP over Estaben Ocon and Zhou. For this incredible debut, the Dutch driver has received a lot of praise from fellow drivers and others from the F1 fraternity. Mercedes driver George Russell talked about the youngster’s performance and expressed that he has what it takes to be an F1 driver.
Russell said, "He obviously did an excellent job ... he was always one of the very best and there's no doubt he deserves another place in Formula One," Russell told reporters after finishing third on Sunday. There’s 20 drivers, not everybody gets an opportunity, but certainly, now he's proved everything he has to."
Similarly, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff also praised the Williams reserve driver. Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Wolff emphasised: "I think, what else should he do in terms of performance than what he has shown today? No training, [he] jumped in a car that he hadn’t driven, straight into FP3. Yeah, it showed what he’s capable of doing."
Nyck De Vries was also extremely proud of his performance as he said, "The whole experience, from yesterday until now, has just been a dream. Jumping on a car on the drivers’ parade and seeing all the excitement for Formula 1, getting the opportunity to race, starting in the top 10, executing a good race, scoring points debut, being called Driver of the Day – it’s been amazing."
"Ultimately, it’s not up to me to decide whether I should have a seat or not. Of
course, I can only do my job. We live in a competitive industry, so you’re as good as your last race, and you’re always expected to perform – luckily I did that this weekend and I grabbed this opportunity with both hands," he continued.