De Vries joins Vandoorne in Mercedes F1 reserve driver role

Nyck de Vries has become one of Mercedes' nominated Formula 1 reserve drivers for the 2021 season, joining Formula E team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in the role

De Vries joins Vandoorne in Mercedes F1 reserve driver role

2019 FIA Formula 2 champion de Vries linked up with Mercedes following his championship victory, signing with its squad in Formula E ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

The Dutchman scored his maiden Formula E victory in the 2020-21 season-opening Diriyah E-Prix last weekend, dominating from lights-to-flag in the Friday race.

Mercedes previously had ex-McLaren F1 driver Vandoorne and former Haas racer Esteban Gutierrez sharing reserve driver duties.

But in announcing its plans for the 2021 season, Mercedes confirmed that de Vries would be joining its F1 support roster for the coming campaign.

"We also have a strong reserve driver line-up for the 2021 season, with Stoffel Vandoorne continuing in the role alongside his Mercedes team-mate in Formula E, Nyck de Vries," Mercedes stated in its W12 car unveiling press release.

It marks a first official F1 role for de Vries, who previously only served as a development driver with McLaren when he was part of its young driver academy.

De Vries enjoyed his first F1 test at the end of last year when he took part in the Abu Dhabi rookie test at Yas Marina for Mercedes (below), running alongside Vandoorne.

Gutierrez has not been listed as part of Mercedes' line-up for the coming year, but it emerged last summer that his superlicence had expired, making him ineligible to race in F1.

Mercedes customer team Racing Point was exploring driver replacement options for the British Grand Prix after Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19, putting Vandoorne and Gutierrez on its radar.

It emerged that Gutierrez was no longer eligible to race, though, as he had not raced in F1 for the past three seasons, meaning he had to complete a 300km test to regain the superlicence.

De Vries has held enough points from junior categories to race in F1 since 2016, as well as clinching all of the required points in one go by winning the F2 title in 2019.

Mercedes has only been forced to call on a replacement driver once in recent seasons, when Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of last year's Sakhir Grand Prix.

The team opted to draft in junior driver George Russell from Williams for the weekend instead of placing Vandoorne in the cockpit.

shares
comments
Mercedes explains F1 power unit changes to address reliability concerns
Previous article

Mercedes explains F1 power unit changes to address reliability concerns

Next article

Hamilton explains decision to only sign one-year Mercedes F1 extension

Hamilton explains decision to only sign one-year Mercedes F1 extension
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022