De Vries’ dream of reaching F1 still lives on

Jamie Woodhouse
Nyck de Vries in the Mercedes garage on testing duties. Abu Dhabi, December 2021.

Nyck de Vries in the Mercedes garage where he was testing for the team in Abu Dhabi. December 2021.

Mercedes’ reigning Formula E champion Nyck de Vries did not make the 2022 F1 grid, but he has not given up on that dream.

Once silly season kicked into gear for Formula 1, de Vries, the 2020-21 Formula E Drivers’ Champion, began being tipped as a contender to join either Williams or Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season.

Ultimately Williams was the closest he came, but the vacancy would be filled by Alex Albon.

For 2022 de Vries will remain in Formula E, in what will be Mercedes’ final season in the series, and since he told that his 2022 programme will be “pretty much the same as this year’s”, we can also expect to see him in the World Endurance Championship again, as well on duty for Mercedes’ F1 team as a reserve and simulator driver.

It is extremely difficult for any driver to force their way onto the Formula 1 grid, but while this is a goal which de Vries is not actively pursuing at this stage, it is one which he very much wants to accomplish.

Nyck de Vries during the Abu Dhabi post-season test. Yas Marina December 2021.
Nyck de Vries driving for Mercedes during the Abu Dhabi post-season test. Yas Marina December 2021.

Asked by Speed Week if Formula 1 remains the goal, de Vries replied: “Every young driver dreams of this dream. I’d be lying if I said I’m no longer striving for Formula 1 or I’m giving up my dream. But I was no longer actively working towards it.

“Next year is a new season, let’s see what happens. I will do my job as well as I can.”

It would be understandable if de Vries felt disappointed having ultimately been overlooked by Williams and Alfa Romeo, but this is not the case.

Instead, he was just proud to see his name in the conversation.

“First of all, I was delighted and really excited that my name was even mentioned among the candidates,” he said.

“It confirms how my potential is seen.

“So much is changing so quickly. A lot of what has happened is beyond my control, I can only contribute through my performance on the tracks, I can’t influence what happens on the outside.

“I am happy with what I can do at the moment and racing for titles.”


Put to him that his schedule which swaps between F1 sim work, FE and endurance racing seemed daunting, de Vries argued that he needs a constant flow of racing activities in order to stay sharp.

“We all grew up with racing, the driving itself is probably the detail that requires the least adaptation,” he said.

“The potential of the different cars is different, but the basics are always the same. It’s the external circumstances that make the difference.

“An athlete who plays football or tennis is in training every day. If I only drive Formula E, I have a six-month break. I need the continuous racing to stay in shape.”