26-year-old Nyck de Vries is already a familiar figure in the motorsport world. His brilliant 2019 F2 campaign in which he beat Nicholas Latifi to the championship by a margin of 52 points solidified him as one of the major talents in motorsport. In 2016, de Vries made his debut in single-seater racing, competing in GP3 with ART Grand Prix, finishing sixth. The following year he made the jump to the newly rebranded Formula 2, where he competed for three seasons. In his 2019 campaign, de Vries reunited with ART and was crowned the champion when he won the feature race in Sochi.
Like many drivers in the feeder series, de Vries wanted to drive in F1, stating, “As a kid, you dream about F1 and the route towards F1,” but according to Nyck, FE is the next best thing. He says he still hopes for a chance to get into F1 through his partnership with Mercedes Benz EQ in FE, but will that still be the case in the future if he can be an FE champion? We can’t ignore his brilliant rise to the top in FE, but is de Vries really FE champion material?
“As a kid, you dream about F1 and the route towards F1,” but according to Nyck, FE is the next best thing.
In 2020, de Vries competed in his first season of FE. He had an overall decent campaign for a rookie, with the highlight of his season being his first podium at the final race of the season, finishing second to his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne. He continued with this momentum in the 2021 season opener, where he took his maiden win. There have been only two races so far this season, so the championship is still anyone’s game, but Nyck de Vries is a solid contender at the moment as he is currently first in the standings with 32 points. If he can keep this momentum and consistently get results, he could end the year as the Formula E champion. This is still only his second season in FE, so this year may not be his for the title. Mercedes Benz EQ is a relatively new team in FE as well, so it is safe to say that, with a year or two more under their belt, Nyck and Mercedes can have a solid chance at winning the title as early as 2022.
Is F1 still in de Vries’ future? Blatantly speaking, de Vries’ chance for a way into F1 is minimal. Without significant backing and a reliable junior driver program, it’s hard to go to F1. Talent alone can’t get you in. If you want to attract sponsors in your junior career, you need a strong start in your first year, and de Vries took a few seasons in F2 to be a standout, even though he was improving consistently. De Vries didn’t have a good backing or a reliable junior program, while the F2 runner-up Nicholas Latifi did and secured an F1 seat for the 2020 season instead. Even though de Vries has ties with Mercedes now, they have two drivers associated with their academy already in F1, George Russel and Esteban Ocon. Mercedes also has one junior driver, Frederik Vesti, competing in F3, which makes the possibility of a Mercedes F1 seat highly unlikely at the moment for de Vries. While some may see this as a failure to reach true success, who’s to say he still wants to be in F1 if he can win Formula E championships? All we can do is enjoy the present and let the future slowly but surely unfold.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patrice has been watching motorsport since her childhood days especially F1 and MotoGP. Her favourite team is Aston Martin, in the feeder F2 series she supports UNI Virtuosi, Prema and ART Grand Prix too for the rest of the feeder series. She occasionally enjoy watching tennis and mainly supports Dominic Thiem & Roger Federer. She is majoring in Film right now.
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