Nyck de Vries warns of a bad precedent if Colton Herta is allowed to race

Michelle Foster
Nyck de Vries in an Aston Martin. Monza September 2022.

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries sits in an Aston Martin cockpit ahead of an FP1 outing. Monza September 2022.

Nyck de Vries has urged the FIA not to give special dispensation to Colton Herta, the Dutchman fearing it will set a bad precedent.

Herta has emerged as the favourite for the AlphaTauri seat, Red Bull keen on the American replacing Pierre Gasly who would then be allowed to join Alpine.

However, the 22-year-old doesn’t have the required superlicence points, only 32 of 40, as IndyCar doesn’t rank high on the FIA’s points-scoring list.

Red Bull have asked the FIA to make allowances for the driver given that he has won seven IndyCar races and that, says Helmut Marko, is “comparable to a grand prix”.

It has divided opinion in the paddock with the likes of McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl saying the FIA should allow Herta to race, while F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is against it.

De Vries agrees with the Italian.

The reigning Formula E champion has warned giving Herta an exemption sets a bad precedent that could see drivers join lesser series in order to bag easy superlicence points.

“I think the rules that have been created for this should simply be complied with,” he said in an interview with “Besides being frustrating, I think it’s also bad for the system.

“It could have a negative effect on Formula 2 and Formula 3, because if you can score points more easily elsewhere, you get drivers to move to other championships.

“In that case, for example, a driver would rather opt for the Indy Lights, in which only about 12 cars drive.

“Personally, I believe that you should stick to the rules and not make exceptions in these kinds of situations.

“There are plenty of superlicensed drivers to choose from.”

“And,” he added, “if they go in that direction and start making exceptions, where does it stop? Then of course many more drivers will knock on the door of the FIA thinking they deserve dispensation.”

De Vries is one of those with enough superlicence points to join the grid, the Dutchman linked to a move to Williams.

A smiling Nyck de Vries chats to a Williams team member in free practice. Spain May 2022.

Asked about the possibility of that happening, he replied: “To be honest, I can’t estimate it. Because it’s out of my control. In the end, of course, I am not the one who makes this decision.

“It’s such a big chess game. Of course you try to play it in your head and see what it could turn out to be. But in the end that’s wasted time, because it’s not in your own hands. All you can do is do your job well, be present and wait.

“Of course it cannot always be the case as I will soon be empty-handed if there is no Formula 1 opportunity. But I think I’m in a good position in that regard.

“So I’m not too concerned about that. And actually I’m not worried at all. It comes as it comes. Time will tell and we will find out on our own.”

The driver, though, says for now he has not set a deadline for an F1 opportunity before he begins looking elsewhere.

“No,” he said. “I’ll wait and see how this develops. Of course, I don’t risk my long-term chances by continuing to hope for something that may not come. But at this stage there’s no point in worrying because I can’t influence it anyway.

“I can’t say more about it, because that’s the reality.”