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How De Vries' first F1 season means his career has come full circle

The first Grand Prix in his full-time year as a Formula 1 driver is over for Nyck de Vries. Now that he and his family are embarking on the adventure at AlphaTauri, things have come full circle for him, as he explains in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.

There are many racing drivers that hope to make it to Formula 1, but only 20 of them get to do the job full-time. The dream finally became a reality for Nyck de Vries in 2023, who through the unconventional route of winning the Formula 2 title, then moving to Formula E to win the championship with Mercedes - becoming the first Dutch FIA World Champion - is now a full-time driver for AlphaTauri. "I thought that many times it would never happen. But at the same time I was not prepared to give up on my dream," De Vries admits, in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365 . "One or two percent of hope is still enough to keep going. Until your chances are really zero, you're still in it. "Especially where my career was going and how Mercedes was withdrawing from Formula E, Hypercars [in World Endurance Championship] gaining momentum. I was just in a position where I was able to kind of keep all the options open." Reaching F1, however, remained a possibility: "It was not always easy, but I always knew this was ultimately what I wanted." De Vries was not an obvious choice for many F1 teams in the so-called 'silly season' prior to 2022. But after a handful of outings during Friday practice sessions, it put him in pole position to replace Alex Albon when the Williams driver had to miss the Italian Grand Prix due to appendicitis. So what kept him going through this period of uncertainty over his ultimate career goal? "The hope and will," De Vries responds. "I had many times when it felt like a slap in my face, a feeling of 'it's not going to happen again', but still I kept my will and hope, which was enough to keep going."

I'm most grateful for the fact that things have come full circle again

Nyck de Vries

F1 adventure with his family

Becoming a Formula 1 driver is very different to trying to be one. Once you make it, suddenly your life revolves around media work and ensuring you are fit enough to contest 23 tough race weekend in a year. For De Vries, he is grateful that he can repay the favours that his father sacrificed all those years ago when he started karting with the ambition of making it to the grid. "The thing I am most grateful of is that the circle is round again," he replies when we ask him about his bond with his father. "When I started my career, everything was thanks to my Dad. "He supported my since I was a very young age, he is the one that got me into it, our whole karting journey was done together. Then there was a long period when I was a little more on my own."

This period would be during his years in the McLaren Young Driver Programme, when he signed on in 2010 at the age of 15 and remained part of it until 2018. Now the 28-year-old driver remains close to his roots, or rather, he takes them with him to the circuits. On his travels with the F1 circus, he takes his father and his sister with him. "When I made the switch to car racing, it was more McLaren was in control and my dad didn't come to the races any more. Even though he was always there in the background to advise me, he wasn't so much involved any more. "Now that I have ended up here [in F1] I need my family and some support. I just feel like we achieved our dream together and everyone is a little more involved again because the necessity is higher and intensity is higher. "Also my sister, who we shouldn't forget, she is always with me and travels with me everywhere!" The dream of reaching the pinnacle of motorsport has now become a reality. De Vries is now focused on his work, as AlphaTauri have ambitions of moving back up the standings following a tough season. Although it was a tough outing for the team in Bahrain, the goal for the Dutchman is clear: "Consistently score points! We don't know how realistic that will be, but we'll see," he concluded.

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