Nyck de Vries crucial meeting with Red Bull

Nyck De Vries looks back on his pivotal meeting with Helmut Marko, head of motorsport development and a crucial part of Red Bull’s Formula 1 driver programme. Spoke to Helmut Marko in September.

In 2023, Nyck de Vries will join Formula 1 as a regular with the AlphaTauri team, with whom the Dutchman has signed a multi-year contract. De Vries – who was crowned Formula E Champion in 2021 – will join forces with Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda next year, directly replacing Frenchman Pierre Gasly, who will join the Alpine team.

All of this accelerated for Nick de Vries in September during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza when the Dutchman was called up at the last minute by the Williams team to replace Alex Albon, who was hospitalized with appendicitis.

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De Vries donned the Williams suit and jumped into the car for FP3 of the Italian GP before qualifying inside the top ten in qualifying and finishing ninth on Sunday when the checkered flag flew.

Obviously, Nyck de Vries’ commanding performance at the Italian Grand Prix left no one indifferent in the paddock and it is therefore only logical that the young man had several discussions with various team managers after the Italian Grand Prix, but in the end it is so with the Red Bull clan that De Vries will start his F1 career next year.

Dinner with Max started everything

Looking back on this crucial period, De Vries explained that he first spoke about the AlphaTauri track on the advice of the two-time world champion during a dinner with his compatriot Max Verstappen the day after the Italian Grand Prix:

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“I had dinner with Max in Monaco on Monday night to kind of celebrate the weekend.” explained the Dutchman in the podcast “F1 Beyond the Grid”.

“We spoke openly about possibilities and opportunities. We may have talked about AlphaTauri, Dr. Marko [Helmut], and so it continues. I was seen in Graz later in the week.”

Regarding this crucial meeting with Dr. Marko describes De Vries a “simple and pleasant” moment with the man who will give him a starting place in Formula 1 with the AlphaTauri team from next season.

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“We had a good time together. We spent two days eating local Austrian food and talking about the future together. He has a good sense of humor and we respect each other.” added Nyck de Vries about Helmut Marko.

“I think he appreciated that I was there in person and we could talk face-to-face. Red Bull is all about performance and winning and I share that, so it was very straightforward and fun.”

“Obviously the deal wasn’t just in my hands, it was a little more complicated than anyone can understand. But basically, this trip made me realize that I had a very good chance of being on the starting grid in 2023.”

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