Experience Centre

Report: Stand-in Nyck de Vries scores points on debut in Monza

Published on
11 Sep 2022
Est. reading time
5 Min

Nyck de Vries finished P9 at the Italian Grand Prix with Nicholas Latifi in P15

Dutchman Nyck de Vries wrapped up a whirlwind 48 hours by coming home in P9 on his Formula One debut, picking up two more points for the team.
When he was sipping coffee in the paddock on Saturday morning, he’d hardly have believed that he would be celebrating a points finish in his maiden outing the very next day.
After lining up in P8, Nyck enjoyed a steady start away from the grid, keeping his nose clean to retain his position. Nicholas Latifi would slip four positions down the order from his P10 grid spot by the end of the first lap.
Settling into the first stint, F1’s newest name was keeping right on the tail of Fernando Alonso, the driver who equalled the record for most Grand Prix starts this afternoon.
After numerous penalties shuffled the starting grid, the drivers who began out of position started to move their way through the pack – Carlos Sainz relegating Nyck down to P9 whilst Nicky found himself in P17.
A swift Virtual Safety Car period for Sebastian Vettel’s stranded car came and went before our Canadian put our crew to work, boxing on Lap 17 for hard tyres.
Nyck would pop in three laps later, ditching his soft tyres for fresh mediums and crucially coming back out ahead of Zhou Guanyu who had pitted one lap prior.
Nicky was soon hunting down his compatriot Lance Stroll and, on Lap 25, made the pass going into T1 to elevate him up to P18.
Just past the halfway mark, Alonso was forced to retire and Lewis Hamilton, Mick Schumacher and Valtteri Bottas all boxed, filing our duo up to P10 and P14 respectively.
Our No6 soon became engaged in an enthralling battle with Schumacher that lasted the course of the first two sectors, but the German eventually won out, with Bottas picking up the spoils.
Nyck was doing a fine job of managing his yellow-walled medium compound tyres, but was in a nail-biting fight with Zhou – the Chinese driver kept close to our stand-in Dutchman, but the FW44’s raw straight-line speed made his task difficult.
With six laps remaining, Daniel Ricciardo was forced to pull to the side of the track, bringing out the Safety Car.
Nicky took the opportunity to box for soft tyres, whilst Nyck stayed out and in doing so, ensured he stayed inside the Top 10.
The stricken McLaren was not cleared up in time to allow a restart, so the Italian Grand Prix was concluded behind the Safety Car, locking in Nyck’s P9 and Nicky’s P15.
Our Italian GP results
Our Italian GP results
“I'm feeling really good about today and think it was crucial to get the start right and a clean run into lap one,” explained a jubilant Nyck after the Chequered Flag.
“I got into a DRS train which helped to stick with the pack, however I think the pace was really good and we made a good call on strategy and tyre management.
“Driver of the Day makes me so happy and I'm very pleased and thankful that I got given the opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands.
“It was a great day for the team and whilst grid penalties played in our favour, ultimately, we did a great race so I'm very happy for everyone in the team and for myself.
“Hopefully I will get a shot next year, but this is definitely a dream come true and I'm very impressed with what we've done in short notice, so I'll go enjoy it now.”
Nicholas was understandably disappointed not to have maximised upon his top 10 grid spot in the Grand Prix, saying: “[It was] A very tough race. I was compromised at the start being sandwiched between a few cars and trying to avoid damage.
“A lot of cars cut the first corner without any penalties. Unfortunately, we had a slow pit-stop which left us with very little to play for in the race.
“The aim was to maintain the position we started in and we had a fighting chance, but it wasn't meant to be.
“We were fast in a straight line, but we struggled with braking and carrying speed through the corners. We'll look to bounce back in Singapore in a few weeks.”
Our Head of Vehicle Performance, Dave Robson, concluded our reaction by adding: “Nyck drove an excellent race today and was able to defend when required as well as keeping constant pressure on the cars ahead.
“We gave him an ambitious strategy which would push his Soft and Medium tyres to the limit. The late safety car offered some protection in the final laps and also helped him manage a hot front brake disc.
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“However, he got himself into that position by driving extremely well, managing the start and the pit stop expertly and by fighting hard using a car and setup that he had only driven for 34 laps yesterday.
“He did no high fuel running prior to the laps to the grid and had never driven a full stint on these tyres in racing conditions. The work that he and his team put in overnight was excellent and he deserved this result.
“Nicholas had a tricky start to the race, losing out at the first chicane before mounting a good recovery showing decent pace on the Hard tyre to get back into the fight with Stroll and Tsunoda, Schumacher and Bottas.
“Unfortunately, he couldn’t recover all the loss from the opening laps and finished in 15th.
“It was good to complete this triple header with another points finish and we can now enjoy some rest before we head to Singapore for the first of the flyaway races that will end the 2022 season.”
In Formula 2, Logan Sargeant’s Feature Race was over by Turn 4 through no fault of his own after a collision between eventual winner Jehan Daruvala and Jack Doohan sent the latter into our Floridian racer's left-hand side, causing terminal damage.
Finally, in the last Formula 3 outing of the season, Zak O’Sullivan finished narrowly outside of the points in P11 after the race was brought to an abrupt end under a Red Flag with five laps left to run.
The 17-year-old finished his rookie season 11th in the standings with 54 points to his name, making him Carlin’s leading driver in the series this year.
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