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Nyck de Vries

Why de Vries expects 'particularly challenging' first Sprint

The debut Sprint race of the 2023 F1 season will also be Nyck de Vries' first, with the Dutchman keen to capitalise on the mistakes of others during the Azerbaijan weekend.

De Vries Australia
To news overview © XPBimages

Nyck de Vries is expecting his debut Sprint race in F1 to be "particularly challenging" given the lack of practice time following an overhaul of the weekend format.

The first of six Sprints to be held in 2023 will take place at the upcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with the event also set to feature the new Sprint Shootout in place of Free Practice 2.

This will decide the grid for the Sprint, while a traditional qualifying session on Friday sets the order for Sunday's main race.

While the weekend will mark de Vries' first Sprint in Formula 1, the AlphaTauri driver is hopeful that his past experience in other categories can prove useful.

De Vries of challenge of Sprint weekend

"Baku will be my very first Sprint weekend and that will be particularly challenging with just one hour of free practice before qualifying, but I’ve been to the track before, with three second place finishes in Formula 2," de Vries explained.

"We're all excited to go racing again after this long break.

"The track is quite unique in the sense that, usually on street tracks, overtaking is very challenging, but the extremely long straight produces opportunities, which is why the races at Baku have often been quite eventful, so hopefully things will go our way and we'll have something to cheer about come the end of it."

AlphaTauri 'making progress'

AlphaTauri currently sit P9 in the Constructors' standings with one point to their name, claimed by Yuki Tsunoda at the Australian Grand Prix.

While de Vries feels that the Red Bull sister team are taking steps forwards, he admits that they may need to capitalise on others making mistakes to score points in Baku.

"I feel we are making progress, but the midfield is still very tight, and it is very challenging to fight for points because in a 'normal' race the top 10 is solidly occupied," de Vries added.

"We need to make sure we are ready to capitalise on any mistakes made by those who would normally be top 10.

"While I see signs of progress, Baku demands a lot of straight-line speed and so far, our straight-line speed has not been that competitive. Let's wait and see how it works out."

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.

F1 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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