De Vries to make F1 debut with Williams in Spain

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It has been announced, by the Williams team, that Nyck de Vries will be driving for them at the Spanish Grand Prix. During FP1, the Formula E champion will replace Alex Albon.

Fresh after his win in Berlin, Nyck de Vries will be making his F1 debut. He will replace Alex Albon for FP1 at the Spanish circuit.

As mandated by the FIA, all F1 teams must run at least two “rookies” in FP1 sessions per season. Many teams have successful driver academies which support youngsters through the lower formulas. These driver academies provide plenty of drivers to pick from when choosing an FP1 driver.

Despite having its own driver academy, Williams has decided to look elsewhere. Nyck de Vries is under a Mercedes contract, is a Mercedes driver in Formula E, and is a Mercedes reserve driver.

Nyck de Vries also participated in the end-of-season test with Mercedes in December 2020. Having such a close partnership with Mercedes, you’d think that De Vries would make his F1 weekend debut with them.

This announcement was unexpected on De Vries side, but Williams also had F2 driver Logan Sargeant and reserve driver Jack Aitken to choose from.

Despite the announcement being unexpected, the pairing isn’t too unusual as Williams and Mercedes have incredibly strong ties. Williams drivers have fulfilled the previous two Mercedes seats (Valterri Bottas and Geroge Russell). Mercedes also supply the engine/power unit to Williams.

With de Vries coming off his recent win at the Berlin E-Prix many will begin to question whether the dutch champion will make the jump to Formula One.

When De Vries won the 2019 F2 championship with one race to go, many thought he would make the jump to Formula One. It’s now been over two seasons since his win and there don’t appear to be many seats available.

2021 Champion, Oscar Piastri is believed to move up into Formula One soon, maybe by next year. If this happens, it means De Vries chances of moving into Formula One could be even further away.

Sadly, in the world of F1, winning the F2 championship doesn’t guarantee you a seat. In the 2021 season, three rookies moved up from the 2020 F2 championship despite having an ex-champion available too.

If De Vries impresses on Friday, which is highly likely, his F1 dream could be kept alive. In the meantime, De Vries will race in Formula E alongside Stoffel Vandoorne (another Mercedes reserve driver).

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