Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ‘insurance policy’ backed by Williams boss

Mercedes reserve Nyck De Vries has been praised as a ‘top quality driver’ following his outing for Mercedes

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck De Vries has been praised by Williams chief Dave Robson following his outing at the Barcelona Grand Prix amid talk that the Dutchman could be an “insurance policy” for Toto Wolff should Lewis Hamilton retire.

Former Formula E champion De Vries took Alex Albon’s Williams seat in FP1 at the Circuit de Catalunya and Robson was left impressed by the 27-year-old’s performance. De Vries has been on the books at Mercedes since 2020.

“His pace was there. His ability to understand the tyre and do the out-lap correctly, was really impressive,” Williams head of performance Robson told the Formula One website.

“And then after that, his feedback post-session was extremely good. He had some very useful comments on the balance of the car, which agrees quite well with what we've heard from the two race drivers.

“So, I think in that regard, considering he only gets an hour in the car, I think he did a really good job, and he clearly has what he needs to be to be an absolute top quality competition driver.

“He's worthy of a place on the grid, I think, but so many people are. I think he took his opportunity well, yesterday and I think he should be you should be pleased and proud of what he did.”

Robson’s comments come after De Vries’s friend and racing driver Tom Coronel told the RacingNews365nl podcast: “If Lewis Hamilton stops, Nyck de Vries will get the seat. Do you know why? As I’ve been saying for a year, Nyck is Toto Wolff’s insurance policy.”

Hamilton has again rejected suggestions that he could walk away from Mercedes at the end of this season. “Why should I stop?” he told Corriere della Ser. “Let’s take this season: I probably won’t win the title, but I feel the same pleasure of competing as when I started.

“Maybe one day I won’t be able to take the pressure anymore, I’ll be tired, but that day hasn’t come yet”

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