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Russell intrigued by De Vries future after 'gang of five' promotion
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Russell intrigued by De Vries future after 'gang of five' promotion

Russell intrigued by De Vries future after 'gang of five' promotion

Russell intrigued by De Vries future after 'gang of five' promotion

Russell intrigued by De Vries future after 'gang of five' promotion

Mercedes driver George Russell believes Nyck de Vries has "all the possibilities to be a great F1 driver" following his long-overdue promotion to the sport.

De Vries is the last member of a 'gang of five' who raced in karting many years ago to have finally reached the pinnacle of motorsport.

Following a stellar junior career that included numerous karting titles, De Vries went on to become Formula Renault 2.0 champion, and then F2 and Formula E champion.

Yet De Vries has had to wait until the 'ripe old age' of 27 to finally make it into F1 after securing a deal to race with AlphaTauri for next season.

"Out of the karting boys as such, Nyck was the only one who hadn't made it to F1, and probably deserved to have made it," said Russell.

'Those five drivers - myself, Alex [Albon], Max [Verstappen], Charles [Leclerc] and Nyck - who were in that era of racing against each other at 11, 12, Nyck was the only one who didn't make it, so I'm happy for him.

"I've always rated him. In go-karting, he was the man to beat. Out of all of us, he was probably the most successful."

Stars finally aligned for De Vries

After FP1 outings this season for Williams, Mercedes and Aston Martin, De Vries was able to firmly thrust himself into the shop window in the Italian Grand Prix after Albon was hospitalised with appendicitis.

The Dutch driver delivered a superb display in qualifying before going on to finish ninth in the race, leading to him being linked with numerous teams before Red Bull opted to bypass its own academy and hand him a chance with AlphaTauri.

"Getting to Formula 1, you need to do the job at the right time when there's an opportunity on the grid, and sometimes those stars don't align," added Russell.

"The number of stars that were aligned at Monza made up for it.

"I'm now intrigued to see how he'll get on but I've no doubt he'll perform well. He's got all the possibilities to be a great F1 driver."

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