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How many chances does De Vries have to make his F1 debut?

How many chances does De Vries have to make his F1 debut?

9 August - 14:30
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GPblog.com

With the lightning-fast race of seats that started a little over a week ago now, the chances for an F1 debut for Nyck de Vries also seem to be swirling. The question is, how many more chances will the Dutchman have in the future if he fails to get into F1 in 2023?

De Vries' trip to F1

De Vries' debut in Formula 1 would mean that besides Max Verstappen there would be another Dutch driver on the grid. As the Dutch F1 audience has grown explosively, partly due to the arrival of Verstappen, it would also be profitable for the sport to have more Dutch drivers. De Vries is basically F1-worthy; the Dutchman won the Formula 2 championship and the Formula E championship. The only thing that does not help is that at 27, he will be a relatively old rookie - he will be 28 at the 2023 season start - and therefore not so attractive for a long-term investment from F1 teams.

However, the route De Vries takes in his racing career is geared towards a spot in Formula One. De Vries chose open-wheel racing early in his career. After karting, he made his debut in Formula Renault in 2012. Open-wheel racing is the most famous and prestigious class of motor racing. For De Vries and other drivers, it is therefore only logical to have Formula 1 as the ultimate goal. F1 is not called the king class of motor sport for nothing. F1 is also a global championship, unlike IndyCar which admits drivers from all over the world, but only has races in North America on its calendar these years.

Chances for De Vries in 2023?

It remains to be seen how much chance De Vries has of getting a seat in Formula 1 in 2023. Sebastian Vettel is leaving in 2023, Fernando Alonso is leaving for Aston Martin and McLaren and Alpine are still fighting it out over Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo. There seems to be no room for De Vries at these teams at the moment, so the only thing that would help the Dutchman is to lose a competitor for a seat at Williams or Haas. As a Mercedes reserve driver, De Vries has a good shot at a Williams seat, but if he does not manage to debut in 2023 he will have to try again in 2024 at the age of 29.

How long can De Vries still compete?

It raises the question of what De Vries can do in the coming years to make it interesting for F1 teams to hire him. He has already won championships in F2 and FE, he has a superlicence, he is a reserve driver for the strongest team in the last eight years and drove a free practice session for that team in 2022. De Vries is unlikely to take tens of millions from personal sponsorship deals, which will not make him more attractive to teams like Haas and Williams. The only step forward in his 'open wheel career' is Formula 1 or possibly IndyCar. Those chances are not great, so De Vries may have to settle for his current position in Formula E as the highlight of his career.

That is not to say that his racing career is a done deal, but it does seem that the switch will have to happen in 2023 if De Vries wants to stay in the spotlight of motorsport. Of course, racing classes outside of open-wheel racing such as the WEC, in which De Vries has already competed at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, are also options for the future.

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