Nyck de Vries confirms Helmut Marko talks following AlphaTauri link

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

Nyck de Vries has confirmed he travelled to Austria to meet Helmut Marko as his move to AlphaTauri grows more likely by the day.

A week ago, it seemed De Vries was not even in contention for the AlphaTauri seat. Red Bull had chosen Pierre Gasly’s successor and were working on persuading the FIA to override their rules in order to allow American Colton Herta to race.

The FIA stood firm, so for De Vries timing was everything. As he settled down in the Mercedes motorhome on the Saturday morning at Monza, he was informed that instead of appearing on a show for Formula 1 he would be making his compettive debut in the sport for Williams.

He impressed, earning points at his first attempt and comfortably beating Nicholas Latifi in the same car – and it appears his performance did not go unnoticed.

With the Herta attempt looking like a dead end, Red Bull appear to have switched their focus and are instead targeting the 27-year-old Dutchman for the AlphaTauri seat.

Speaking on Dutch television show Humberto op Zaterdag, De Vries confirmed he had travelled to Austria to meet Red Bull adviser Marko.

“I don’t quite know if I’m in such a luxury situation that I can choose,” he said, as reported by Motorsport.com.

“Largely, that is beyond my control. I have been in talks with Williams for a long time and I was also able to make my debut there last weekend.

“That would be a logical step. Alpine I have been in contact with since July, and I will test for them in Budapest next week. I will fly there on Monday.

“And as the media had noticed yesterday, I went to Austria to meet Helmut Marko. Those are the facts.”

Having waited so long for a seat in F1, De Vries also said he is not worried about where the offer might come from and is willing to consider options from Williams and Alpine as well as AlphaTauri.

“Wherever I can get a permanent seat, I would be very happy with that,” he added. “We have to see how it will develop in the coming days and weeks. As I said, it’s not entirely in my control.

“In this world not everything is about performance, but there is momentum now. That makes a difference, but it doesn’t guarantee a seat. We are not that far yet.”

The 2019 Formula 2 champion said he had already put the Italian Grand Prix behind him and was focusing on what comes next in his career.

“The weekend itself was fantastic and went by in a flash,” he said. “It was a dream come true and we finished it successfully. What happened afterwards, I couldn’t really imagine.

“On the Monday afternoon, I was back to reality myself fairly quickly. I’m busy with the future now. But all the messages and congratulations I received were very special. It’s nice to receive the support from everyone.”

De Vries’ imminent move would open the door for Gasly to move to Alpine and complete an all-French team alongside Esteban Ocon.