De Vries was told just before the third free practice session in Monza that he would replace Alexander Albon for the rest of the weekend at Williams. The Thai could not take part in the race due to appendicitis. In qualifying, De Vries managed to make Q2, but the Dutchman moved up to P8 for the race due to grid penalties from other drivers.
In the end, De Vries crossed the finish line ninth and took home two points for Williams. It was a strong performance given the conditions, but also because of the still pointless Nicholas Latifi who failed to beat De Vries, despite the Dutchman being almost unprepared for the Monza race.
Wolff praises De Vries
Wolff is also impressed with De Vries. The Mercedes team boss knows De Vries well, as the Dutchman has been a reserve driver for the team for several years. The 27-year-old has also driven for the German manufacturer for the past three seasons in Formula E, where he managed to win the world title in his second year. Wolff is convinced De Vries would also have impressed Lauda.
"I don’t think that anyone else could have possibly done a better job in what he did. Niki would have taken his hat off as a driver", the team boss is quoted by Motorsport-Magazin.com. Lauda and Wolff worked together for a long time at Mercedes as colleagues and close friends. The Formula One legend passed away in 2019.
"I like him a lot. He is just a fine young man. He is not only fast, as he has shown in the junior categories, but he is also intelligent and a good team player", Wolff continues about De Vries. After his performance for Williams, it seems likely that we will see the Dutchman back in F1 next year. According to the latest reports, the deal with AlphaTauri is almost complete. Pierre Gasly appears to be leaving for Alpine, freeing up a seat at Red Bull Racing's sister team.