Mercedes driver George Russell recently said that Nyck De Vries absolutely deserved to have all the “stars align” to create a chance for him to get a Formula One seat.
George Russell and Nyck De Vries got to meet each other back in the karting days. However, they were driving in separate categories because De Vries was older and was moving up the ranks first.
The first time the duo raced against each other was in the 2018 FIA F2 Championship. The championship was won by George. He was followed by Lando Norris and Alex Albon. Nyck De Vries came fourth that year. The top 3 were promoted to Formula 1.
However, Nyck De Vries stayed in the F2 series and won the championship the very next season. He was followed by Nicholas Latifi who made it to F1 next.
De Vries had to wait till 2022 to get a chance to competitively drive an F1 car. He replaced Alex Albon in the Williams at the Italian GP when the Thai driver had to sit out due to medical reasons. De Vries grabbed the opportunity and put on a stellar performance.
This brought many eyes onto him. One of them was AlphaTauri’s. They were quick to pick him up after their French driver Pierre Gasly left for Alpine.
De Vries was the most successful one in go karting
George Russell was asked by Motorsport.com about the De Vries situation. He said, “Out of the karting boys Nyck was the only one who hadn’t made it to F1 who probably deserved to make it to F1.”
The “Karting boys” that he is referring to are himself, Alex Albon, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Nyck De Vries. They were the top of the class in go-kart racing during the early 2010s
Russell was then asked if he rated the dutchman higher after working with him at Mercedes. He said that he had always rated him. Because he was the man to beat when they were go-karting. Even though they had never raced against each other in go-karts, Russell says that De Vries was the most successful amongst them in go-karts.
Russell continued and said that apart from all the skills, you also need your stars to align to get a seat in the top level of motorsport. “But with the number of stars that aligned in Monza it probably made up for the unfortunateness of a few years ago,” he said
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George also said that another thing he is looking forward to is seeing how De Vries performs at the top level. As he has so much experience in other racing categories.
It’s not just Russell, but former F2 opponent Lando Norris also agreed that De Vries did indeed deserve a chance in the top category of racing.