Lewis Hamilton shows off his 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 car
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Nick de Vries has admitted he has held talks with Alpine, Williams and AlphaTauri over a race seat next year after an impressive showing in his competitive debut in last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. The Dutchman is currently the test and reserve driver at Mercedes and he has received strong backing from Lewis Hamilton as he seeks to earn himself a more regular slot on the grid.
De Vries made his first start in a Formula One car during last Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix winning points in a struggling Williams despite coming in as a last-minute replacement for Alex Albon after his appendix burst. His ninth-place finish drew wide praise from across the paddock with the likes of Hamilton and Fernando Alonso being particularly complimentary.
His success intensified calls for him to be given a race seat in 2023 following a series of FP1 performances for Mercedes, Williams and Aston Martin in addition to his championship victories in F2 in 2019 and Formula E in 2021. However, his options appear to be shrinking with just four teams holding vacancies next year.
Despite this, it appears that De Vries is well in with a shout of a move with the 27-year-old confirming he has held talks with three teams already. Williams, Alpine and AlphaTauri are all interested in offering him an opportunity next season however the Dutchman appears to be prioritising the British team given the duration of their interest.
“Those are the facts,” De Vries tolf Dutch TV show ‘Humberto on Saturday’ when asked if he had held talks with the teams. “I don’t think I can just choose, because things are still largely out of my control.
“I’ve been in talks with Williams for a very long time and I happened to be able to make my debut there. So that could be a logical step.”
Hamilton had been strong in his praise for the rookie driver following his impressive qualifying performance ahead of Sunday’s race in Monza. He comfortably out-qualified more experienced team-mate Nicholas Latifi by finishing 13th, a position which turned into eighth after a range of penalties were applied to other drivers.
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“I haven’t seen his quali performance but Nyck is a very talented driver,” the seven-time world champion said. “I’ve known him since he was really young, when I was at McLaren my dad was trying to help him get into Formula One.
“He’s been a real valuable member of our team, he works does a lot of work on the simulator. He’s always super-positive, he fires me emails. And so I was so happy to hear this morning that he’ll be given the opportunity to drive.
“He deserves a place here, I think, so I hope today’s been good for him.” It remains to be seen whether or not De Vries will be given a drive in 2023 but the signs look promising for the Dutchman.
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