Nyck de Vries is ready to “reset and look forward” after the hurt of having his Formula 1 dream curtailed when he was axed from AlphaTauri after just 10 races.
Signed to AlphaTauri after scoring points in his once-off appearance for Williams at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, such were the expectations on de Vries’ shoulders that Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko tipped him to immediately leapfrog Yuki Tsunoda as the team leader.
But just 10 races into his AlphaTauri career the Formula 1 dream was over, Red Bull dropping the point-less Dutchman in favour of putting Daniel Ricciardo in the car.
Nyck de Vries is ready to move on
It was a huge blow for de Vries with his fellow drivers criticising Red Bull for their “brutal” and “very harsh” treatment of the 28-year-old.
As for de Vries, he largely kept his own council except to put out a brief statement speaking of the “hurt” of having his F1 dream end “prematurely”. He even took the time to thank Red Bull and AlphaTauri for giving him “the opportunity” to live the dream of being a Formula 1 race driver.
Now, almost three months on, the Dutchman has been confirmed as a Mahindra driver for the 2023/24 Formula E season with de Vries returning to the championship where he won the title in 2020/21.
And he does so ready to move on and reset after the hurt of his Formula 1 exit.
“Of course, it hurts to end things prematurely,” he told The Race. “It was something I’ve dreamed about for many years, but the way I kind of personally see it is that through life, you go through different phases and different chapters.
“As I wrote in my personal post some days after it all happened, life is not a destination, it’s a journey. I think when you truly look at it from that perspective it also helps you to kind of reset and look forward.
“As I said, we’re here at the start of a new chapter, something I’m really excited about the project and the perspective it has, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.
“I think it was human to have that kind of reset period, to kind of just reflect on what you’ve done, and where you are and where you want to go.
“I felt like I had enough time to kind of assess what happened and to reset and to move forward. I’m truly excited and I can literally feel fresh motivation to get back to racing and get back to what I love the most.”
De Vries joins the Mahindra project on the back of talks with Tony Ross, who previously worked with him at Mercedes EQ where Ross was the engineering chief.
“Tony showed up in our first call. I mean, unexpectedly,” said De Vries.
“That was a very happy surprise. Tony and I had the chance to work together at Mercedes and I think we respected each other a lot.
“I have a lot of belief and faith in Tony. He has a great kind of track record and history. In racing, he’s done everything and he not only brings a lot of knowledge and expertise, but also a certain mindset.”