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De Vries looks back on time in F1: 'Of course the dismissal hurt'

De Vries looks back on time in F1: 'Of course the dismissal hurt'

27-09-2023 11:46 Last update: 15:48

Ludo van Denderen

Nyck de Vries may call himself a racing driver again. Formula E team Mahindra announced on Wednesday that the Dutchman has signed a multi-year contract. So this brings an end to a period on the sidelines for De Vries following his sudden dismissal from AlphaTauri in Formula 1.

For the past few months, things have been quiet around De Vries. Through his Instagram account, it became clear that the Dutchman had not completely disappeared from the face of the earth, but he did not give any interviews. At the premiere of the film Grand Turismo in Amsterdam, De Vries gave a brief appearance. There, he said he was going to do a course at Harvard. He did not elaborate on his resignation from AlphaTauri. A few days later, De Vries gave a demonstration at the Assen circuit, but even there, he kept his jaws tightly shut. Not even a brief, idle chat to the audience was there.

De Vries looks back for the first time

With Mahindra's announcement that De Vries will return to Formula E with them, the Dutchman steps out of anonymity again. In the press release sent out by the Indian team, the Monaco resident did not mention a single word about his time with the Red Bull family in Formula 1. Speaking to English media - not Dutch - De Vries briefly addressed the forced departure just before the summer break.

"I think it was human to have that kind of reset period, to kind of just reflect on what you've done, and where you are and where you want to go," De Vries told The Race. "I felt like I had enough time to kind of assess what happened and to reset and move forward. I'm truly excited, and I can literally feel a fresh motivation to get back to racing and get back to what I love the most."

De Vries continues his journey

Not once did the Dutchman manage to take a point for AlphaTauri. De Vries was ultimately judged harshly by the Italian team (and certainly also by Helmut Marko and Christian Horner) for the results: even sticking it out until the summer break was out of the question in the run-up to the Hungarian Grand Prix, De Vries was sidelined. On paper, he was (or is?) still attached to the Red Bull group, but as a replacement for the soon-to-be-retired Ricciardo, De Vries was never in the picture.

An adventure that began so full of high expectations ended disappointingly in the end. "Of course, it hurts to end things prematurely. It was something I've dreamed about for many years. But the way I kind of personally see it is that through life, you go through different phases and different chapters. As I wrote in my personal post some days after it all happened, life is not a destination, but it's a journey. I think when you truly look at it from that perspective it also helps you to kind of reset and look forward," De Vries said.