De Vries’ F1 move gives FE drivers ‘more credibility’

De Vries was catapulted into the spotlight over the Monza weekend when he was pushed into the Williams FW44 as a replacement for Alex Albon, who was sidelined with appendicitis.

The Dutchman, who had already done an FP1 session for Aston Martin that weekend, entered Q2 for the first time to ask to overtake his teammate Nicholas Latifi.

Grid penalties moved De Vries to eighth on the grid, and he drove a measured race to secure a ninth place, despite limited knowledge of Williams’ car, helping him earn a call-up to AlphaTauri to replace the bound for Alpine. Pierre Gasly by 2023.

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Speaking at a select media panel discussion to promote London E-Prix ticket sales, Avalanche Andretti driver Dennis says the other FE drivers were keen to have de Vries run for the whole weekend.

“I’m very happy for him, he’s a great driver, and from my first day driving European karting and at the age of 12 or 13, he’s probably been one of my main rivals,” said Dennis.

“[We’ve] They grew up together, they always competed with each other. So to see him in Formula 1, along with many others I’ve raced against, is great.

“I think it’s good for Formula E; when he had that race at Monza, the last thing we all wanted was for it to be terrible, because it would have made us look bad.

“And obviously, the way he approached the weekend and how well he did it, it gives more credibility to the Formula E championship.”

Dennis admitted that if he had been in the same position as de Vries, he would have “done the same thing” moving from Formula E to F1.

Dennis (left, spraying De Vries after victory at this year’s London E-Prix), says the Dutchman’s performance was a win-win for everyone in Formula E

Photo by: Simon Galloway/Motorsport Images

He added that at the current stage of his career, however, he would have to consider whether it was worth sacrificing a front row seat in Formula E to move into F1, stating that his main goal was to remain competitive.

“It depends on what your aspirations are, it depends on the salary, that’s a big thing for sure, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying,” he said.

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“But I think I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t; if I were in Nyck’s position, I probably would have done the same thing.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t want to drive a Williams; I don’t want to drive last, that’s for sure. You’d have to approach it that way, especially at my age now, I’m getting pretty old.” I’m not 21 anymore!

“But yeah, I just want to win races. Whether it’s in Formula E, WEC or Formula 1, whatever. I just want to be competitive.”

Tickets for the London E-Prix on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July 2023 are now on sale at fiaformulae.com/London with adult tickets starting at £35 and reduced prices for children.

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