Nyck de Vries has said that it is “not a given” that he ends up with a drive in Formula 1 for the 2023 season.
De Vries, currently one of Mercedes’ reserve drivers, made his debut in F1 at the Italian Grand Prix earlier this year for Williams, recording a commendable ninth-placed finish.
The 27-year-old may be in line for a more permanent place on the grid next season, with the Dutch driver heavily connected with a move to AlphaTauri that could allow Pierre Gasly to depart for Alpine.
De Vries insists, though, that nothing is yet decided about his future, even if he is hopeful that the right “opportunity” will come up.
“It’s not a given,” De Vries, already a championship winner in Formula 2 and Formula E, told Sky Sports of a place on the 2023 grid.
“My appearance in Monza helped and boosted my reputation in a short time, but it’s not up to me to decide whether I should be in a car or not.
“I hope that time will come to me, and it will materialise in an opportunity. To get an opportunity in Formula 1 everything has to be right, and it’s very much about timing and momentum.
“I’m not the first one who has gone off to do something else and maybe come back to get an opportunity or be on the sideline for a bit.”
De Vries’ surprise Monza debut came after Alex Albon was hospitalised to undergo surgery to remove his appendix.
The Dutchman had practised for Aston Martin in Sebastian Vettel’s stead on the Friday of race weekend, but adjusted quickly to qualify 13th for Williams a day later.
Nyck de Vries impressed on his F1 debut for Williams
(AFP via Getty Images)
Grid penalties subsequently lifted De Vries into the top ten and he produced a solid drive to score his first F1 points and further bolster his chances of earning a seat next year.
“I was a bit stressed like ‘what’s going on?’, and got told ‘you might be driving’,” De Vries explained, revealing that he received a phone call on Saturday morning informing him of Albon’s absence.
“So, I rushed into the engineering meeting, got ready for FP3 and while this all happened, I got informed I was doing the weekend.
“I think it was a good thing it happened so quick, so unexpected and so sudden, because if you know a week prior you’re going into your first Grand Prix weekend, the pressure and nerves are just building up.
“I very quickly had to move them away and focus on what I actually had to do.
“I’m grateful it turned out to be a very good debut, but at the same time I want to be humble and acknowledge there were five grid penalties ahead of us which moved us from P13 to P8 on the grid.
“There were some retirements, the Safety Car at the end because we were suffering with a right-front brake issue, so it seemed all the stars were aligned, and I take that.
“I’m grateful for it, I acknowledge it, but we also did the job.”