De Vries ‘honoured’ by 2022 F1 links

Henry Valantine
Nyck de Vries celebrates winning the Formula E title.

Nyck de Vries is held aloft after becoming Formula E's first official World Champion in 2021.

Nyck de Vries has said he feels “honoured” by comments from Toto Wolff saying that he deserves a Formula 1 drive in the future.

The newly-crowned Formula E World Champion has been one of the drivers linked with a move to Williams if George Russell steps up to a Mercedes seat next year.

Mercedes team principal Wolff said recently that he feels De Vries and fellow Silver Arrows reserve Stoffel Vandoorne “deserve” to be in Formula 1, and that he hopes they can find a place on the grid.

Wolff was in the Mercedes-EQ garage at the dramatic Formula E finale in Berlin at the weekend, as the team won both the Drivers’ and Teams’ titles on Sunday.

Dutchman De Vries was also the winner of the Formula 2 title in 2019, and knows that adding another title will help put his name in the mix for a potential drive in F1 next year.

“I heard what [Wolff] said about me, and I am honoured that someone of such stature links me to Formula 1,” the 26-year-old told NOS.

“On the other hand, I also know that you cannot control whether you get a place there next season. Whether this world title has brought Formula 1 a step closer? It certainly opens doors. Winning championships contributes to the opportunities you get.

“In three years I have won a major championship twice. Of course, that does something to me. At the same time, I am quite modest and I would prefer to put this World title aside to focus fully on my future.”

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The Dutchman has gone racing in a variety of different cars in recent years, as he combined Formula E with LMP2 racing this season in the European Le Mans Series and the World Endurance Championship – all alongside his reserve duties in F1 with Mercedes.

But when it comes to what his main target is to drive in next season, he’s unequivocal in his answer.

“I don’t have to lie about that,” he quipped. That being said, though, he’s also keeping his options open if a Formula 1 seat does not come his way in 2022.

“I have chosen a different path my whole career, so it is not impossible that I will realise my dream,” he said. “But ultimately, racing in Formula 1 is not enough in itself.

“I always look for my challenges, everywhere. Also there [in F1], if the opportunity arises.”