‘Niki Lauda would have taken his hat off to Nyck de Vries’ : PlanetF1

Toto Wolff has heaped reward on Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries after he scored factors on his F1 debut.

Having pushed for Aston Martin in FP1, De Vries was parachuted into the Williams forward of FP3 after Alex Albon had been taken in poor health, affected by appendicitis.

Regardless of having by no means raced in F1 earlier than, the Dutchman comfortably out-qualified his team-mate Nicholas Latifi earlier than ending P9 and incomes factors on the first time of asking.

The outcome has solely strengthened his place within the driver market with numerous groups, together with Williams, having a seat to fill for 2023.

Wolff, who has spent a big quantity time with De Vries as boss of Mercedes, was very complimentary concerning the 27-year-old and mentioned that nobody else may have finished a greater job.

“I like him,” the 50-year-old Austrian mentioned.

“He’s only a good younger man. He’s not solely quick and has proven that within the junior classes, however he’s additionally clever and a very good crew participant, that’s the reason he deserved it right here.

“I don’t assume that anybody else may have probably finished a greater job in what he did.

“You might be in an Aston Martin, you’re driving round with a rake after which you’re being drafted in on the final minute in a distinct automotive, you’re beating your team-mate by fairly a margin, you’re beginning eighth and also you end ninth.”

Wolff paid maybe the very best doable praise by suggesting that Niki Lauda, who served because the Mercedes non-executive chairman till his loss of life in 2019, would have been happy with De Vries.

“Niki would have taken his hat off as a driver,” Wolff mentioned.

De Vries additionally obtained some phrases of encouragement from his compatriot Max Verstappen who was filmed chatting to the stand-in Williams driver earlier than the race.

“To start with, get pleasure from it and don’t give it some thought an excessive amount of, don’t stress about it an excessive amount of,” Verstappen replied when requested what he mentioned.

“I keep in mind my first one…it occurs so rapidly every thing, however I feel extra in all probability should you simply inform your self we’ll see what occurs as an alternative of actually stressing out – ‘I want a very good begin, I want a very good first lap’.

“You shouldn’t take into consideration that and I feel he dealt with every thing rather well in fact.

“However yeah, it’s good. We all know one another rather well so it was only a fast little motivation speech.”

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