Nyck de Vries has admitted that he had doubted whether he would ever reach the FIA Formula 1 World Championship after coming so close on a number of occasions to a drive that ultimately failed to materialise.
The Dutchman will join the grid full-time in 2023 with Scuderia AlphaTauri after impressing on a one-off outing with Williams Racing in the 2022 Italian Grand Prix. De Vries scored two points at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza whilst standing in for an unwell Alexander Albon, with his performance opening the eyes of many teams on the grid.
De Vries was already the test and reserve driver with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team and had run with them, Williams and the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team during free practice sessions in 2022.
However, he mentioned that he had previously found himself feeling ‘rejected’ from joining Formula 1 several times, including after winning the FIA Formula 2 championship in 2019 and the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in 2021.
“To be honest, there were more times when I thought it was never going to happen than when it did,” said de Vries on the Day1 YouTube channel. “I didn’t get frustrated with that, because at the same time, I was very happy with what I did have and the opportunities I did get.
“But on the other hand, I was constantly present at Formula 1 weekends and then it is very in your face that you are not driving. You are very close and at the same time, very far away.
“I had days when I thought: ‘This is not going to happen anymore,’ but deep down, I always kept some kind of faith despite the fact that I have been rejected four times since 2021.
“After I won Formula 2 [in 2019], there was no place for me in Formula 1 – that is kind of a rejection. In 2021, I won the Formula E championship and we were very close, but it didn’t work out in the end.
“During last season there were maybe two or three moments when there was serious talk about my future – and every time there had to be an answer, [it was no] because I had other obligations outside of F1.”