Age is ‘irrelevant’ as a full rookie F1 season lies ahead – Motorsport Week

Nyck de Vries has stated that while he is older than the average Formula One driver going into his rookie season, his age is irrelevant given the experience with which he enters the racing category.

The 2019 Formula 2 champion will be 28 years old when he embarks on his first full season in F1 next season at AlphaTauri, taking the more unconventional route of competing in Formula E before realizing his chance in F1 receives.

In a perfect world, a driver of F2 championship caliber would climb into an F1 seat the following season, with Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Mick Schumacher being prime examples.

However, F2 champions like Oscar Piastri, Felipe Drugovich and of course de Vries can be left without a full-time driver more often than they really should due to the limited opportunities for a spot on the grid.

In an interview on F1 podcast Beyond The Grid, de Vries spoke about his long wait for an F1 seat: “Everyone goes their own way, so I think it’s almost irrelevant regardless of my age or how I got here .

“I think in the end, all that matters is getting the opportunity when the time is right.

“For me personally it’s obviously been a roller coaster ride and it actually feels – sort of – better to have the chance now.

“Sometimes I probably would have thought it was less likely [realise] my dream, but at the same time I never really gave it up.”

While waiting to materialize his F1 drive, de Vries received a drive for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, where he won the 2021 title and helped the team to back-to-back Team Championships.

His first taste of an F1 grand prix came at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, where he filled in for the appendicitis-plagued Alex Albon and shone as he drove for a Williams team struggling to secure points achieved ninth place.

“[Monza] was very overwhelming [but] At the same time, I believe my experience and maturity has helped me stay very down to earth,” added de Vries.

“It was a great experience and I’m very grateful for everything that happened this weekend.”

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