Nyck de Vries’ ex-karting coach makes World Champion driving style comparison

Henry Valantine
Nyck de Vries leaves the garage. Abu Dhabi November 2022.

Nyck de Vries has been compared to 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg in how he drives a car, by his former karting coach.

Dino Chiesa has worked with a multitude of drivers throughout his career in karting, not least the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll, Alex Zanardi over the course of almost four decades.

This offers him a unique perspective in how drivers have worked in the junior categories in the grassroots form of motorsport, fine-tuning their skills as they look to work their way up the motorsport ladder.

New AlphaTauri driver De Vries eventually ended his karting career as a two-time World Champion before moving on to single-seaters, and his former mentor was able to draw upon another of the former young drivers he worked with to draw comparisons to how he drives a car.

“Nyck’s driving style is very similar to Nico Rosberg’s. They are calculating and weigh their chances in the car,” Chiesa told Formule1.nl.

“Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both have something deadly effective and always put their car next to it when the opportunity arises. Nyck has less of that, but Nyck still picked up more points in his first season [in karting] than [Pierre] Gasly, for whom it was already his second year. Very impressive!”

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De Vries will head to AlphaTauri to partner Yuki Tsunoda and, though he will be a full-time rookie next season, he will be the elder driver in the team – turning 28 before the start of the season comes around in Bahrain.

His impressive stand-in debut at Monza last year helped convince the Red Bull hierarchy to sign him to their sister team for the year ahead, but another part of De Vries’ personality Chiesa highlighted was his attention to detail in keeping his garage clean.

“His karting overalls and other clothes had then become completely dirty from the dust and sand from the karting track, but before Nyck packed his bags to go back home, he would first clean everything and sort the worn clothes colour by colour,” Chiesa explained.

“Imagine buying new clothes and it being neatly folded, this is what the contents of De Vries’ bag look like after a week of racing.

“I’m sure his side of AlphaTauri’s motorhome will look spick and span next season.”