Nyck de Vries admits F1 dream after ‘nervous’ first outing with Williams

The Formula E champion impressed in his Formula 1 practice debut

<p>Nyck de Vries is a Formula 2 and Formula E champion</p>

Nyck de Vries is a Formula 2 and Formula E champion

Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries says his goal is still to join Formula 1 in the near future, after enjoying a successful first practice runout with the Williams team in Barcelona ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The 27-year-old is one of the most highly-rated drivers in motorsport outside of F1, having won the 2019 Formula 2 championship before securing the Formula E crown at the end of 2021, and has served as a reserve and development driver for the Mercedes team alongside Stoffel Vandoorne since last season.

This year, all F1 teams are bound by a new FIA rule to run rookie drivers in at least two practice sessions over the course of the year, with a rookie being defined as a driver who has raced in no more than one grand prix previously. Juri Vips took over Sergio Perez’s Red Bull in Spain on Saturday, while De Vries handled Alex Albon’s Williams.

The Williams is the slowest car on the F1 grid so far this year, meaning De Vries was never going to be setting times at the top of practice leaderboard, but he did manage to beat team-mate Nicholas Latifi, who is in his third year in F1.

De Vries delivered that impressive performance despite admitting to feeling very nervous before taking the car out on track.

“I can admit I was quite nervous today, we put a lot of time into preparing for this opportunity,” De Vries explained on Sky Sports F1. “Every young driver dreams of racing in Formula 1. My Dad was in the grandstand and so was my mum. they have lived the journey with me and they wanted to be here to witness that first opportunity.

“The hard compound was very tough, it was difficult to get into the window. But it gave me an opportunity to do multiple laps at the beginning. We then used the qualifying tyre, and I wasn’t happy with my position on the track, but generally we did a very decent job.”

A lack of sponsorship backing means De Vries has been overlooked for a permanent seat in Formula 1 in recent years, but he revealed that he views his practice outing as an opportunity he has earned, and says that he is still aiming to race in F1 full-time.

“I don’t know [if or when I will join F1],” he added. “Recently we’ve been very occupied with Formula E and this [practice] opportunity. But we’ll see, and for now I’m very happy with this opportunity. I think there is more to come from my side.

“I would be lying if I said Formula 1 isn’t my goal, it is the pinaccle of our sport. I’m enjoying what I’m doing in Formula E and the World Endurance Championship. Time will tell really, the most important thing is to do my job on track and earn my opportunities.”

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