Nyck de Vries reprimanded after ‘erratic driving’ steward summons

Henry Valantine
Williams' Nyck de Vries at the Italian Grand Prix. Monza, September 2022.

Williams' Nyck De Vries at the Italian Grand Prix. Monza, September 2022.

Nyck de Vries has been reprimanded after being found to have been “driving erratically” during the Italian Grand Prix.

The stand-in Williams driver was hailed for taking the car into the points on his Formula 1 debut, having only been called up to replace unwell Alex Albon on Saturday morning.

The Dutch debutant received the fan-voted Driver of the Day award for his performance at Monza, on an afternoon which saw Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton rise 14 places apiece from the back of the field.

The stewards acknowledged his last-minute call-up had been a mitigating factor in his offence and gave him a reprimand instead of a harsher punishment.

He had been summoned on a charge of “braking heavily behind the Safety Car between Turns 2 and 3 when being closely followed by Car 24 (Zhou Guanyu)”.

The stewards’ verdict said: “The driver advised that after the second lap under the Safety Car he was unsure about why his display was showing he was at risk of being under the delta time.

“At the same time, he was dealing with brake issues and was in radio contact with the team over this issue, so did not get any advice from the team in relation to his delta.

“He therefore reduced speed in order to remain above the delta time. The stewards took note of the fact the driver was a ‘last minute’ replacement for the usual team driver and had driven this car for the first time in FP3 at this event.

“Therefore, in mitigation, the stewards decide to impose the penalty of a reprimand instead of a higher penalty.”

De Vries’ compatriot Max Verstappen took victory at Monza, but De Vries’ provisional P9 finish gave Williams two crucial points in the Constructors’ Championship.

But with the verdict from the stewards resulting only in a reprimand, his finishing position will stand, giving him points on what he described as a “dream” debut in Formula 1.

Grid penalties had moved De Vries up to the fourth row on the grid, but he held on in the points places throughout the race and after finishing under the Safety Car, crossed the line ninth for Williams on an excellent weekend for the Dutchman.