This will be William’s first filling of the mandatory young driver sessions of the year, with Vries replacing Alex Albon. This will also be de Vries’ first time being behind the wheel of an F1 car during a race weekend despite appearing in a Mercedes at the Abu Dhabi Young Drivers’ Test with him being a reserve driver for the team, as well as McLaren.
The team can confirm that @nyckdevries will take part in FP1 on Friday, fulfilling one of the two mandated young driver sessions this season 👍
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) May 16, 2022
“Firstly, I’d really like to thank Williams for the opportunity to run in FP1,” he said.
“It’s great for me to get to know the team and drive the FW44, and also to get myself out on track during a Formula One weekend. Preparation for the test is going well so far and the team have been incredibly supportive of me. I’m very much looking forward to the whole experience in Spain now!”
Williams’ head of vehicle performance is keen to get a new driver in the car:
“We are looking forward to having Nyck de Vries in the car for FP1 as it is always good to work with a new driver and get a fresh opinion on the car’s strengths and weaknesses.
“Nyck’s experience and professionalism will be crucial on Friday as he will complete some of the key engineering tests in FP1 before he hands the car back to Alex for FP2.”
De Vries was looking to gain a seat at Williams when George Russell moved to Mercedes, but Alex Albon eventually was confirmed for the place and has shown great performance so far this season. Latifi has however been rumoured to be exiting the team with de Vries replacing him, but de Vries confirmed that he didn’t know anything about this.
“These rumours are new to me,” he said to GPFans.
“I have no idea where you read them [the rumours] or where you came across them. But then I’m very curious where they got that from, because honestly, I have no idea.”
Last year, the Dutch racing driver won the 2020-21 title for Mercedes at Formula E, so we’re very excited to see what he can do in a Williams.