Nyck de Vries had a great 2022 Italian Grand Prix, as he grabbed the opportunity by both hand to score points on his Formula 1 race debut.
De Vries was called in the last minute to deputize for ill Alex Albon that was hospitalized with a case of appendicitis, after serving at Aston Martin during FP1.
He went on to outqualify team regular Nicholas Latifi, and finished ninth in Sunday’s scoring his first Formula 1 points from the first time of asking, while driving what can be considered lower midfield car.
Speaking after the race, De Vries said: “I’m feeling really good about today and think it was crucial to get the start right and a clean run into lap one.
“I got into a DRS train which helped to stick with the pack, however I think the pace was really good and we made a good call on strategy and tyre management,” he added.
Driver of the day
In addition to scoring points, the Dutch driver was voted Driver of the Day by the fans to which he reacted: “Driver of the day makes me so happy and I’m very pleased and thankful that I got given the opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands.
“It was a great day for the team and whilst grid penalties played in our favour, ultimately, we did a great race so I’m very happy for everyone in the team and for myself.
“Hopefully I will get a shot next year, but this is definitely a dream come true and I’m very impressed with what we’ve done in short notice, so I’ll go enjoy it now,” he concluded.
Williams team boss Jost Capito commented on De Vries’ impressive debut, and told Viaplay: “It came out of nowhere for him and then to do such a professional and fantastic job. It’s just out of this world.
“It’s extremely difficult to turn your focus around,” the German insisted.
Capito is open for future collaboration with De Vries and said: “He is always on the list, but he also has other commitments.
“It’s very much up to him. He showed what he can do in F1 and he didn’t surprise me,” the Williams Chief insisted.
Not the perfect debut
De Vries’ first F1 race did not go without any problems, as after the race he was called to the stewards, where he had to answer to erratic driving under the Safety Car.
The stewards noted that the driver “braked heavily under the Safety Car between Turns 2 and 3, when being closely followed by Car 24”, which was Zhou Guanyu.
However De Vries was allowed to keep his points and was given a reprimand, as the stewards noted “the fact that the driver was a ‘last minute’ replacement for the usual team driver and had driven this car for the first time in FP3” as per the FIA’s decision document 62.
With De Vries scoring two points, that means he now sits higher in the Drivers’ Standings than Nicholas Latifi, not a flattering fact for the Canadian.