AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries has revealed how he finally won out in F1's "huge chess game" after years of near misses.
The Dutchman will make his full-time debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix after replacing Pierre Gasly at the Faenza-based outfit, with the Frenchman join Alpine.
The move marks a welcome opportunity for de Vries, who will turn 28 ahead of the new season, after failing to enter the sport after his F2 triumph and his championship campaign in Formula E.
De Vries has instead had to wait until being able to show his talents behind the wheel of an F1 car in anger, substituting for Alex Albon at Williams in last year's Italian Grand Prix, before an opportunity called.
De Vries was almost a full-time driver a year ahead of time, however, although speaking to De Telegraaf, the former Mercedes reserve driver conceded the jigsaw would not fit.
"That year I became world champion in Formula E and I thought all the puzzle pieces would fall together, it was between Alex and me at Williams," he explained.
"In the end they chose Alex.
"Then I did think 'S**t! How am I going to keep this momentum going for another 12 months?'
"It's such a huge chess game. All scenarios were constantly running through my head."