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Mercedes reserve de Vries deemed worthy of F1 after Williams drive

Mercedes reserve de Vries deemed worthy of F1 after Williams drive

F1 News

Mercedes reserve de Vries deemed worthy of F1 after Williams drive

Mercedes reserve de Vries deemed worthy of F1 after Williams drive

Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson believes Nyck de Vries has proven his worth to the F1 grid after his run in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes stable driver de Vries was touted for a winter switch from the Silver Arrows' Formula E operation to F1 when seats became available at Williams and Alfa Romeo.

The Dutchman, who took the title in the all-electric single-seater championship last term, remained with Mercedes and performs reserve duties for the reigning constructors' champions but was put in the Williams as part of F1's young driver programme for this season.

Teams must allow young drivers of less than two races of experience to drive an FP1 session on two occasions this year, with de Vries covering off the first of these runs for Williams.

Addressing the former F2 champion's time behind the wheel, Robson said: "I think everything he did was really good. He didn't put a foot wrong.

"He completed the engineering programme that we needed him to do which for us was the most important bit.

"But not only did he not have a huge amount of time in the simulator, we gave him the prime tyre for his first run which we knew would be a bit difficult, but at least it gave him the opportunity to do a good number of laps.

"To go from that to the qualifying compound is a big ask for anyone but you can see in the lap time he did a very good job. So his pace was there, the ability to understand the tyre and do the out-lap correctly was really impressive.

"After that, his feedback post-session was extremely good. He had some very useful comments on the balance of the car which agrees quite well with what we have heard from the two race drivers.

"In that regard, considering he gets an hour in the car, he did a really good job."

On whether the Dutchman was deserving of a place in F1 given his work in the car in addition to the Formula E and F2 championships, Robson insisted: "He has what he needs to be a top-quality competition driver.

"He is worthy of a place on the grid I think but so many people are. He took his opportunity well and he should be pleased and proud of what he did."

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