Nyck de Vries won a legal battle against real estate millionaire Jeroen Schothorst who claimed the Dutch Formula 1 driver breached the terms of a loan agreement between them.
Back in January, reports emerged that De Vries was taken to court by Schothorst, who accused the F1 driver of withholding information, and violating the terms of the loan agreement the two have signed as the De Vries was seeking funding for his racing career.
De Vries – in his Formula 2 days – took a loan from Schothort’s through the latter’s investment company, Investrand to finance his racing career into F1.
The loan amount was €250,000, on which an interest rate of 3% is charged annually, while an additional 50% of the driver’s income from F1-related activities would also be paid against the loan.
The agreement also stipulated that should De Vries fail to enter F1 by 2022, the driver will be exempted from the his liability towards the loan.
However, Scothorst claimed that De Vries, who was a reserve driver for Mercedes in 2022, and deputized for the ill Alex Albon for Williams at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, has withheld information regarding his income and filed a summary of proceedings in that regard, while insisting the loan agreement is still effective since De Vries joined AlphaTauri for 2023, the announcement done in 2022.
De Vries: I have fulfilled all my obligations towards Investrand
However, a court in Amsterdam has cleared De Vries from any wrong doing, the judge saying: “It is true that he participated in F1 on 11 September 2022 at the Italian Grand Prix, but he did so as a reserve driver.
“He was not contracted as a race driver at that time. He was merely filling in for another driver with appendicitis,” the judge added.
De Vries also showed that he has paid Schothorst against his earnings from his reserve role at Mercedes in 2022 (€150,000) a two part payment of €75,000, as the driver presented proof that he has been on constant contact with Investrand via phone calls and WhatsApp.
Quoted by Motorsport.com, the AlphaTauri driver said: “I have fulfilled all my obligations towards Investrand under the loan agreement and have always provided him with all the information he was entitled to under the loan agreement.
“Therefore, as far as I am concerned, the fact that the judge ruled in my favour was in line with my expectations. Hopefully things will now die down so that I can focus on preparing for the Formula 1 season,” he added.
De Vries’ lawyer added: “Nyck has taken note of the positive verdict rejecting all of Investrand’s claims. Nyck is obviously not surprised, but pleased that the judge also [fully] endorses Nyck’s view.”
This ruling comes at a perfect time for De Vries who is gearing up for his debut season in F1 with AlphaTauri, as he will now be able to focus on his preparations without any distractions.
The Dutchman turned 28 today, on February 6, 2023.
wishing our man @nyckdevries a big happy birthday! 🎉 🎂 pic.twitter.com/QpOujza6jC
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) February 6, 2023