George Russell of Nyck de Vries: “He’s proved everything he has to”

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After Nyck de Vries’s fantastic Formula 1 race debut at the Italian Grand Prix, his friend George Russell said “to score points on your debut in a Williams” is “pretty spectacular”.

2019 Formula 2 champion, and 2020/2021 Formula E champion (with Mercedes), Nyck de Vries has amazingly not been able to get a Formula 1 seat yet.

However, at the Italian Grand Prix he got the opportunity to make his Formula 1 race debut, when Williams driver Alex Albon was sidelined with apendicitis.

The Dutch driver impressed everyone when the managed to get into Q2 in qualifying, and the next day in the race he finished in P9, and scored his first two F1 points.

After the race George Russell was asked to give his thoughts on how his friend did.

“He obviously did an excellent job and yeah, impressive,” the Briton said.

“Throughout all of our karting career – the three of us [Leclerc, Verstappen and Russell] raced against him – knew him well, and he was always one of the very best and there’s no doubt he deserves another place in Formula 1.

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“So that’s just how the sport is. Sometimes, you know, there’s 20 drivers, not everybody gets an opportunity but certainly now he’s proved everything he has to.”

Ahead of his debut Nyck said he couldn’t sleep the night before, so George was asked if this is how he felt when he had to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

“I think probably tougher for him to be honest than it was for me because I was obviously a full time race driver then and equally as well for him jumping from Aston Martin on Friday into a Williams…

“It’s a different car, the seating position is different. I remember when I was doing testing with Mercedes, Force India [now Aston Martin] at the time and driving F2 it took quite a few laps just to get used to the different feeling of how those cars reacted.

“As I said, there’s not a lot more to say; to score points on your debut in a Williams, it’s pretty spectacular no doubt,” Russell concluded.

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