2019 Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries insists he is not frustrated by the lack of a chance for him in Formula 1 next season.
Last year, the top three finishers in the F2 championship were all promoted to Formula 1 as champion George Russell joined Williams, runner-up Lando Norris secured a McLaren race seat and Alex Albon was re-signed by Toro Rosso before becoming a Red Bull driver mid-season. De Vries was fourth in the 2018 championship and then won the title this year, but said he is at peace with not having made the same step.
“I had a personal target,” de Vries said. “I wanted to win this season to make a point to show the world that we as a team had the capability to win this, but at the same time I know this world is not so straightforward. Things change quickly.
“There’s a lot of things that play a role in actually making it to Formula 1 and not just delivering the job is enough. I accept that, I’m aware of that. I’m a realistic person and I’ve no hard feelings towards that.”
de Vries is racing for Mercedes in Formula E this season while the runner-up to him in the F2 championship – Nicholas Latifi – will race for Williams in F1, but the Dutchman says he is pleased to see another frontrunner get a chance.
“I’m very happy for Nicholas Latifi who will get the opportunity, he did a good season too, he finished second, he did a good job, and I think he deserves his chance,” he said. “I got an opportunity in Formula E with Mercedes-Benz EQ and I’m super happy and grateful with it, and I’ll do everything I can to make it a successful story together.”
de Vries also believes there is not enough respect for how tough it is to be successful in F2, as his title-winning season was rounded off with a scoreless weekend in Abu Dhabi.
“Sometimes I think people underestimate how difficult it is to get right,” he said. “For example, Virtuosi has been quite strong over a race distance this season, but in Russia they didn’t look so strong. DAMS also looked very strong all year in race pace, but then Monza was a very difficult weekend for them.
“Even from a Saturday to Sunday, on Saturday in Paul Ricard we did the fastest lap on the last lap and we won, and then race two was a struggle. So it just proves that the window is so narrow and people don’t fully understand the tires and everything.
“In F1 they struggle to understand the tires and they have hundreds of sensors on the car – more than that – to understand everything, and we have relatively none.”