OCTOBER 20, 2022
De Vries needs half a season to adjust to F1
Nyck de Vries should be given half a season to get up to speed as a full-time Formula 1 driver.
That is the view of Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers, who says it's "fantastic" that the Netherlands is enjoying an impressive moment in world motorsport.
"We now have a second Dutch driver in F1," Lammers, himself a former F1 driver, told De Telegraaf.
"What's happening is not normal. We also have Rinus van Kalmthout in Indycar, MP Motorsport is the Formula 2 champion, Atze Kerkhof is a driver coach at Alfa Romeo and Rudy van Buren is a sim driver at Red Bull Racing.
"There were times when things like this were totally unthinkable."
However, Lammers also warns that given Max Verstappen's dominance of Formula 1 and de Vries' impressive Monza debut for Williams, the expectations on 27-year-old rookie de Vries may be too high.
"We can be very sentimental on the one hand, but I also think it is good to keep expectations realistic next year," he said.
"What Nyck showed in Monza was wonderful, but he has also acknowledged that Monza is physically the easiest track and the best track of the year for Williams.
"We should all give Nyck the first half of the season next year to feel comfortable in the car and everything else that comes with it. We have to give him time for that," Lammers insisted.
"Hopefully Alpha Tauri will make some progress and then we can really judge Nyck after the summer break. Anything he can accomplish earlier is a plus.
"We also cannot underestimate his teammate (Yuki) Tsunoda either."
Red Bull's imperious Dr Helmut Marko, however, is already piling the pressure on de Vries, lining him up to actual be the Alpha Tauri team leader in 2023.
"I think he can have a very strong season," another former Dutch F1 driver, Christijan Albers, said.
"He will have to, because he will have to beat his teammate Yuki Tsunoda. I have faith that he can do that. Tsunoda started very well last year but then collapsed."
Albers said fellow Dutchman de Vries is an example of someone who never gave up on their dream of reaching their goals.
"I always say that in this world you have to create your happiness," he said. "That's what Nyck did.
"He kept on fighting and remained involved in Formula 1 as a test driver. He never gave up. Nyck was able to gain experience and was an ideal stand-in for many teams.
"He was lucky in Monza of course because Williams was competitive and the other teams were asleep, so he was always running on softer tyres than the drivers around him.
"But he was able to put himself in the spotlight."