Formula E champion Nyck de Vries is set to make his F1 debut for Williams at the 2022 Spanish GP. The Dutch driver will participate in Friday's FP1 session, giving him a chance to showcase his talent.
In a bid to give young drivers exposure to the sport, the FIA has mandated that teams must now run a driver with no more than two Grands Prix of experience during FP1 at any two rounds throughout the season. de Vries will replace Alex Albon in the first practice session in Barcelona and will see his first race weekend in an F1 car.
The 27-year-old currently serves as a reserve driver for both McLaren and Mercedes and is often seen in the Mercedes garage next to team principal Toto Wolff. Speaking ahead of his outing, Nyck de Vries said:
“Firstly, I’d really like to thank Williams for the opportunity to run in FP1. It’s great for me to get to know the team and drive the FW44, and also to get myself out on track during a Formula One weekend. Preparation for the test is going well so far and the team have been incredibly supportive of me. I’m very much looking forward to the whole experience in Spain now!”
F1 debutant Nyck de Vries has seen immense success in racing
Although the Dutchman is yet to race formally in the sport, he is no stranger to racing, having been at the top of almost all junior categories. The reserve driver has won two world karting championships and has pipped talented drivers like Mick Schumacher and Guanyu Zhou to win the 2019 F2 championship. He became the first Dutchman to win an F2 championship, a feat which was not even achieved by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
The 27-year-old won the most recent season of the Formula E championship, emerging victorious after an epic battle with former F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Williams' head of vehicle performance Dave Robson said of the young talent of the 2022 Spanish GP:
“We are looking forward to having Nyck de Vries in the car for FP1 as it is always good to work with a new driver and get a fresh opinion on the car’s strengths and weaknesses. Nyck’s experience and professionalism will be crucial on Friday as he will complete some of the key engineering tests in FP1 before he hands the car back to Alex [Albon] for FP2.”
Given his immense success in almost every other category of single-seater racing, fans are hoping for deVries' proper entry into the sport in the future. His upcoming outing with Williams will be the F1 world's first taste of the Dutchman's talent.