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De Vries reveals sleep deprivation helped clinch debut F1 points

De Vries reveals sleep deprivation helped clinch debut F1 points

F1 News

De Vries reveals sleep deprivation helped clinch debut F1 points

De Vries reveals sleep deprivation helped clinch debut F1 points
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Nyck de Vries has suggested his nervous lack of sleep may have helped him to secure points on his F1 debut at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman began the weekend for Aston Martin as the team completed one of its two obligatory rookie driver runs in FP1.

De Vries was then expecting to complete the weekend making appearances at the F1 paddock club and shadowing Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff in the Silver Arrows garage.

But the former Formula E world champion was called up late by Williams after Alex Albon was hospitalised with appendicitis.

After impressing in qualifying - out-performing team-mate Nicholas Latifi - and starting eighth at Monza, De Vries challenged AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly throughout and held off the advances of Zhou Guanyu to finish ninth and clinch two points for the team.

"The last 24 hours have been a dream," said de Vries. "I didn't really have much time to think because everything was so rushed. I had a very bad sleep.

"It went from excitement to nerves and I didn't dare look at my sleep tracking on my aura ring because I basically spent the whole night awake.

"But perhaps that helped me. I couldn't think and I had to get on with the job."

Williams help pays off

De Vries didn't make up any ground at the start despite starting on soft tyres but was able to maintain position and settle into his first event.

Plenty of help was needed to guide him through the nuances of driving an F1 car but in the end, it was all worth it as he secured a fine result and was fan-voted the driver of the day.

"My start wasn't great but it was good enough to maintain position," explained De Vries, who faced a stewards' hearing after the race for allegedly driving erratically, but escaped with only a reprimand.

"It was key for me to get into a rhythm and to not lose position because then your tyres are dirty and you are on the back foot.

"That is why I was really happy with our strategy and how we managed that. The pace was really good, the car was great and we made small adjustments from stint one to stint two.

"I asked for a lot of help from the team, how to deal with the tools on the car to influence the balance.

"I know we had a bit of help from the outside with grid penalties and retirements but hey, no one can take these points away from us."

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