Nyck de Vries’ career has been transformed in the last few weeks, securing an F1 drive with AlphaTauri after his impressive cameo performance for Williams.
The Dutchman showed great adaptability, solid racecraft and overall pace to fight amongst the midfield teams and bring home a top-10 finish.
De Vries will face off against Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri next year, with Red Bull gambling on a driver outside their academy to join their ranks next season.
The 27-year-old will be under pressure immediately, especially considering that Red Bull is always eager to promote young talents from Formula 2 into Formula 1.
Speaking in the Beyond the Grid Podcast, De Vries discussed his relationship with Verstappen and their conversation leading up to his F1 debut:
“We’ve known each other since we were kids. We’ve grown up in the same era of racing.
“We – I think – approached karting and racing in our earlier years very similarly.
“We both travelled around in a van with our dads. We just really respected each other and saw each either every weekend, pretty much.
“But strangely, because Max is obviously two years younger than me, we never raced against each other.
“Monza was actually the first time in our lives we raced against each other. Ironically, we even ended up next to each other on the grid.
“We were texting about it the evening prior to the race on Saturday evening, and we were texting again on Sunday morning.”