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Nyck de Vries

Williams praise De Vries: He's worthy of a place on the F1 grid

Nyck de Vries' debut Free Practice 1 run for Williams in Barcelona impressed engineer Dave Robson, who says the Dutchman has the makings of a Grand Prix driver.

De Vries Spain
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Williams' Head of Performance Dave Robson has praised Nyck de Vries after the Dutchman's practice outing for the Grove squad at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Though De Vries is Mercedes' test and reserve driver, he was given the opportunity to step into Alex Albon's FW44 during Free Practice 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Despite never having driven during a Grand Prix weekend before, de Vries completed 28 laps and finished 18th in the standings, 0.1 seconds faster than regular driver Nicholas Latifi in the sister car, and Robson was full of praise for the Dutchman's efforts.

"His pace was there. His ability to understand the tyre and do the out-lap correctly, was really impressive," Robson told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"And then after that, his feedback post-session was extremely good. He had some very useful comments on the balance of the car, which agrees quite well with what we've heard from the two race drivers."

De Vries impressive despite limited preparation, says Robson

De Vries had only had limited time in the simulator before his run, and Robson added that the Dutchman's impressive showing despite his limited preparation underlines his potential as a Grand Prix driver.

"Considering he only gets an hour in the car, I think he did a really good job, and he clearly has what he needs to be to be an absolute top quality competition driver," said Robson.

"He's worthy of a place on the grid, but so many people are. I think he took his opportunity well yesterday, and I think he should be pleased and proud of what he did.

"Everything he did was really good. He didn't put a foot wrong. He completed the engineering programme that we needed him to do, which for us was the most important bit.

"But, not only did he not have a huge amount of time in the simulator, we gave him the prime tyre for his first run yesterday, which we knew would be a little bit difficult.

"But at least it gave him the opportunity to do a good number of laps, and then to go straight from that all the way to the qualifying compound is a big ask for anyone, and you can see in the lap time he did a very good job."

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