Mercedes confirm FP1 appearance for Nyck de Vries at Mexican Grand Prix

Jon Wilde
Nyck de Vries in the paddock. Japan October 2022.

Nyck de Vries will make what is likely to be his final appearance for Mercedes when he drives in FP1 at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Dutchman has been affiliated to the Silver Arrows since 2019 when he joined their Formula E team and won the World Championship in that series last year.

He is also the official reserve driver for Mercedes in Formula 1 but not for much longer, because at the end of this season he is crossing the divide to join the Red Bull stable as an AlphaTauri racer in 2023.

Nevertheless, Toto Wolff is giving the Dutchman one final fling in the W13 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in order to fulfil the mandatory requirement of blooding a rookie driver in two FP1 sessions this season.

De Vries was in Lewis Hamilton’s car for opening free practice at the French Grand Prix and will be taking over George Russell’s for the equivalent session in Mexico.

The 27-year-old made his F1 race debut when a late substitute for the unwell Alex Albon in this year’s Italian Grand Prix and finished ninth to score two points for Williams – one of only five times this term the team have achieved a top-10 finish.

“Nyck will be replacing George in FP1 this weekend as part of the young driver session allocation,” said Wolff, head of Mercedes motorsport.

“We are excited to see him back in the W13 and seeing how he performs.”

Mercedes' junior driver Nyck de Vries on track at the French Grand Prix. Paul Ricard, July 2022.

De Vries is among several rookie drivers who will be in action during opening practice in the Mexican capital as teams scramble to comply with the requirement that was newly introduced for this year.

His future team, AlphaTauri, are also doing so in the shape of Liam Lawson, who takes part for the second time having been given a taste of the action at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Alpine are fielding Jack Doohan in FP1 in Mexico, having elected to keep Oscar Piastri on the sidelines following his decision to snub their offer of a race seat for 2023 to join McLaren. The Australian has not been released either to link up with his new team until his contract has expired.

The other two teams running rookies at round 20 of the campaign are Williams, with their 2023 race driver Logan Sargeant – Super Licence permitting – and Haas with Pietro Fittipaldi.

Read more: Which teams are still yet to run a junior driver in practice in 2022?