Nyck De Vries gave his calling card in the best possible way with his last minute substitute appearance in the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix.
He came in last minute for Alexander Albon and nicely took two points for a ninth-place finis.
The unexpected debut came at the right moment, as he would like to be on the Formula 1 grid full-time.
He is mentioned as a candidate for a race seat in 2023 by several teams, but he cannot and will not reveal anything about it.
The answer to such questions is invariably: "I can't control it myself and even if I knew something, I wouldn't reveal it." A logical answer in the cauldron that is Formula 1, certainly this season with an unprecedentedly vibrant Silly Season.
Confronted with this, De Vries quickly avoids the question that still burns everyone's lips, albeit with a wink: "If you already know the answer, why do you ask?" Touche!
But what can he say about his future? Well, for example, that he is not blind to Formula 1. In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365 , he indicates that he is happy to see himself remaining active for years to come in Formula E, the all-electric class in which he was crowned the very first world champion in 2020/2021.
"One hundred percent," he says with conviction. The Mercedes Formula E project is coming to an end and that entry will be taken over by McLaren , but if De Vries can remain active in Formula E, he will be happy to do so: "I am very happy in that class and have a great time there. I'm very happy with it, so I would love to continue in Formula E to keep fighting for world titles."
In recent years, De Vries has also been active in endurance racing on several fronts. He has raced for several LMP2 teams and is a test driver for the factory Toyota team, which operates in the main class of the World Endurance Championship. That also really appeals to him. In fact, he sees it as the perfect combination with a Formula E campaign.
What will De Vries will NOT do?
"A combination [of WEC and FE] would be fantastic," says De Vries.
"Then you have the best of both worlds. The Formula E season ends quite early, so it would be a shame if you don't have the same intensity in terms of racing program after July.
"I will always try to keep racing after the Formula E championship has ended, but also during the season there is room to combine things.
At the end of last year De Vries tested an Indycar, but is that still something his sights are on?
"Yes and no," is the answer.
"I didn't do that with the intention of leaving it at a one-off, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I still have good contact with Mike Shank (of Meyer Shank Racing, ed.) and we build a kind of long-distance relationship. He follows what I do and I follow what they do. "
"I'm definitely watching motorsport in America with interest, but at the moment I'm very deeply rooted in the European racing scene.
"But I also just thought it was important for myself to take that experience and to bring that experience into my (future) considerations. But as I'm still in European racing right now, I don't think that's realistic in the short term, but I'm certainly not ruling it out for a later point in my career."
Asked whether existing commitments before 2023 would allow him to make the transition to Formula 1, he said that he did not see this as a relevant issue: "I am very happy with what I am doing and eventually time will tell what it is.
"I've made no secret of the fact that everyone ultimately has the same Formula 1 goal. But as you said yourself, it's not up to me to decide whether or not I deserve a seat. Time will tell."
This interview was conducted before De Vries' meeting with Helmut Marko .
F1 Podcast: Does F1's grid penalty system need revising?
With confusion reigning for several hours over Max Verstappen's starting position for the Italian Grand Prix, does F1's grid penalty system need revising, and should there be a rule preventing races from ending under the Safety Car?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key issues from the Italian Grand Prix.