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De Vries brilliance could wield axe over Latifi - Hill
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De Vries brilliance could wield axe over Latifi - Hill

De Vries brilliance could wield axe over Latifi - Hill

De Vries brilliance could wield axe over Latifi - Hill

De Vries brilliance could wield axe over Latifi - Hill

Former F1 world champion Damon Hill believes Nyck de Vries' stunning debut for Williams now spells the end of the road for Nicholas Latifi.

De Vries was a late call-up after Alex Albon was hospitalised with appendicitis, with the Dutchman afforded only half an hour in FP3 to prepare for qualifying.

The Mercedes reserve driver qualified 12th and would have had a shot at reaching Q3 had he been more familiar with Albon's steering wheel settings, only to suffer a rear-brake lock-up that denied him a final attempt in Q2.

Starting from eighth on the grid after a spate of penalties for other drivers, De Vries put in a driver-of-the-day performance to secure ninth in the race itself and two points on his debut.

Canadian Latifi, in contrast, failed to make it past the first stage of qualifying and although starting 10th, was unable to challenge, crossing the line only 15th.

"In this case, Nicholas hasn't got the pace, clearly, that he needs to stay in that position in Formula 1," Hill told Sky Sports F1.

"Some good moments, but along comes a guy who hasn't even driven at a grand prix and he does a fantastic job.

"I know he had grid penalties and stuff that helped him up the grid a little bit but he still delivered in qualifying, [he] didn't really make a mistake."

De Vries puts hand up for F1 drive

De Vries has been touted for a drive in F1 since becoming F2 champion in 2019 and despite failing to make the leap, he then impressed in sportscar racing and in Formula E when he became Mercedes' first world champion in the all-electric series.

On what more De Vries could do to get a chance in F1 full-time, Hill replied: "Well, put it this way, he has done enough for us to talk about him.

"And what a good job, he has got Toto [Wolff] talking about him too. That's what you have to do if you want to be a Formula 1 driver."

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