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Nyck de Vries

Capito exclusive: 'Late-developer' De Vries due some F1 luck

Williams boss Jost Capito has detailed how Williams stand-in Nyck De Vries was due some luck in finally securing a race seat in an exclusive chat with RacingNews365.com.

De Vries Monza
To news overview © XPBimages

Of the 10 Formula 1 teams on the grid, Nyck De Vries drove for five of them in 2022, and very nearly made it six, as he went from the forgotten man to fully fledged Grand Prix driver for '23.

The 2019 Formula 2 champion drove Mercedes, Aston Martin and Williams machinery during mandatory young driver FP1 sessions, while he also took part in an Alpine test using the '21-spec A521.

In Brazil he was on stand-by for McLaren as Lando Norris had food poisoning ahead of Friday, even having a seat fitting before the Briton recovered to take part.

The final car he drove was the AlphaTauri AT03 in Abu Dhabi as he prepares to finally step up to F1 having agreed a deal with driver boss Helmut Marko to partner Yuki Tsunoda in 2023.

Marko's interest in De Vries' services were piqued following the Italian Grand Prix in September when the Dutchman was forced into a late substitute appearance for appendicitis-stricken Alex Albon.

With just one practice session behind him, De Vries qualified 12th and came home a strong ninth - with Williams boss Jost Capito believing the result was just the break De Vries was long overdue.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

"Luck comes to those who work"

Capito admitted at the time that he gave De Vries an effective free hit, telling him no matter what happened in the race, it would not affect what the team thought of him.

The 2020/21 Formula E champion was also linked with replacing Nicholas Latifi alongside Albon for '23, but the team decided to opt for Logan Sargeant, as De Vries headed off to Faenza.

In an exclusive chat with RacingNews365.com, Capito spoke about the determination the 27-year-old has shown.

"It was at first a shock with Alex," Capito explains.

"But we knew that we could definitely use a good reserve driver that we have access to - I knew him for a year and we became friends as well.

"I knew what he could do and how easily he could get into the team so it was not difficult for him.

"I was convinced he would take his chance, he's a late-developer as well always being older than others on the same level.

"Luck comes to the guys who work hard for it - and this was a good example of that.

"He's been around for for years, always pushing and stepping up a series and not giving up on his dream to reach Formula 1.

"Always smiling, not getting angry or disappointed - just being nice and waiting for his chance, his time.

"And if you do that for that amount of time, then he deserved what came through at the end."

Close to retirement in Monza

De Vries' stand-out performance at Monza very nearly ended in retirement - the Williams only being saved by Daniel Ricciardo.

On Lap 45 of 53, Ricciardo's McLaren conked out between the two Lesmo corners, leading to a crane needing to be deployed after marshals couldn't shift the car.

Owing to the proximity to the end of the race, it was unable to finish under green flag conditions with Max Verstappen taking the flag with the race still neutralised.

Capito feels that had the race gone green again, De Vries would have been forced to retire.

"If the race would have restarted, we would have to retire the car," he says.

"So if it would have been one lap and the green flag, it wouldn't have finished - and got the points. Who knows what would have happened?

"I think he deserved the luck he got and worked hard for.

"He was finally lucky but he deserved it."

Part one of RacingNews365.com's exclusive with Jost Capito on the rebuilding of Williams can be found here.

Part two on the hiring of Logan Sargeant as the first full-time American driver since 2006 is available here.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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