De Vries excited to go for ‘special’ F1 debut

Nyck De Vries is excited about his first Grand Prix as a full-time F1 driver after spending years as a reserve driver for Mercedes.

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Nyck De Vries believes this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix will be a special moment for him as he begins his first full season in Formula 1.

The Dutchman, who was crowned 2019 Formula 2 champion and the 2021 Formula E championship on his list of accolades, is coming into the year as an F1 novice after signing for AlphaTauri.

De Vries, who substituted for Williams’ Alex Albon at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, will partner Japanese hotshot Yuki Tsunoda at the team following the departure of Pierre Gasly to Alpine.

“I think it’s very obvious that this is a very special moment,” said De Vries. “I had the opportunity to already kind of experience it and to get a first taste in Monza last year.

“But now I’m ahead of my first official season in F1, and I’m very much looking forward to it. We had a very long lead-up time. I’ve been preparing for a long time, so it’s time to get started.”

Difficult to assess where AlphaTauri stand

Nyck de Vries drives his AlphaTauri into the sunset on day one of 2023 F1 Testing at the Bahrain International Circuit | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Following a difficult 2022 season which saw the team digress, AlphaTauri is hoping to find the form which saw them win the 2020 Italian GP with Gasly.

However, a tightly packed midfield has caused some to guess or state they will only know where they stand in the pecking order after Saturday’s qualifying session.

“I think it’s difficult to get a clear read on everyone,” said De Vries. “I mean, the top group is pretty clearly defined, but everything in the midfield is so close that it’s difficult to know where you are.

“I think it will shuffle around a little bit from weekend to weekend, depending on the track characteristics.

“So I guess Saturday night, we will know where we are here in Bahrain and perhaps in Saudi.  Time will tell where we are.”

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