‘Proud’ De Vries retains first point after stewards reprimand RaceFans

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Nyck de Vries says he is “proud” to have scored points on his Formula 1 debut for Williams.

The 2019 Formula 2 champion and 2021 Formula E world champion entered Alexander Albon’s Williams at short notice on the Saturday of the Italian Grand Prix weekend. He finished ninth on his F1 debut, scoring two world championship points.

After making his first F1 start so unexpectedly after Albon was forced to retire for health reasons, De Vries said it had been a tense weekend preparing for his Grand Prix debut.

“The last 24 hours have been just a dream,” De Vries said. “I didn’t really have much time to think, because obviously everything was so rushed.

“I slept very badly. It went from excited to nervous and I didn’t even dare look at my sleep tracker on my Oura Ring because I was basically awake all night. But maybe it helped me. I couldn’t think and just had to get back to work.

Starting eighth on the grid due to penalties for other drivers after qualifying 13th, De Vries maintained his position on the opening lap and spent the vast majority of the race under pressure from Zhou’s Alfa Romeo. Guanyu.

“My start wasn’t great, but it was good enough to hold my position,” he said. “Actually, the pace was very good. The car was great and we made a small adjustment from stint one to stint two.

“I asked the team for a lot of help, how to manage the tools in the car to influence the balance. Again, I know we had a bit of help from outside with penalties on the grid and retirements, but hey, no one takes the points away from us.

After many years of working with Mercedes in Formula E and as a reserve driver for the Mercedes F1 team, De Vries was congratulated after the race by Lewis Hamilton, who worked alongside him for many years. Fellow Dutchman Max Verstappen also wished his compatriot good luck on hearing that De Vries will be racing this weekend.

“He was nice,” De Vries said of Verstappen’s comments. “We had messages last night and even this morning Lewis congratulated me and they were all very supportive and very kind.

Start of the race, Monza, 2022
Gallery: The 2022 Italian Grand Prix in pictures

“Max just came up to me and he said, ‘It’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay, you’ll be fine – just get a good start and finish and you’ll be fine.’ So I appreciated the support from others and also very grateful to all the fans who voted for me as Driver of the Day.

After the race, De Vries was summoned by the stewards due to an incident under the defunct safety car. While driving around the circuit at reduced speed, the Williams driver appeared to slow down considerably at Curva Grande despite there being no cars ahead of him at the time. Behind him, Zhou seemed caught off guard and had to brake, briefly passing the Williams on the track before De Vries continued.

After speaking with stewards, he received a reprimand for the incident. De Vries explained that he feared he was under the safety car delta according to his dashboard, but had not been told by his team that he could increase his speed. The stewards took into account De Vries’ unfamiliarity with his car and opted to impose a reprimand rather than a harsher penalty, allowing him to retain his points.

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Italian Grand Prix 2022

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