Nyck de Vries: “I’m grateful for the opportunity Mercedes has given me”

Nyck de Vries made his final free practice session for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team on Friday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguezand he felt he did a good job despite running a different program to his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

De Vries took over the running in the W13 from George Russell for the first session in Mexico City and ended eighteenth fastest, although his best lap time was set on the hard compound tire while Hamilton’s best that put him fifth was set on the soft compound.

The Dutchman will join the FIA Formula 1 World Championship grid with Scuderia AlphaTauri in 2023, and Mexico’s running marked the last time he would be driving for Mercedes before he moves to his new team. It was also his fourth free practice outing of 2022 – for three different teams!

And de Vries was thankful to Mercedes for giving him the opportunities over the past three years, not only in Formula 1 but also in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“I enjoyed the session and driving the car, we did a good job in FP1,” de Vries said. “We ran a bit of a different program today, focused on developments for next year and I’m happy with my performance, feeling more and more comfortable in the F1 environment.

“It was also a very emotional session for me, as it marks the end of my time in the car for the team. But I’m happy, as we ended it well and we had a great time working together.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity Mercedes has given me, allowing me to learn a lot and build relationships within the team and now I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

Andrew Shovlinthe Track Engineering Director at Mercedes, admitted the program de Vries was given in Mexico City was never going to flatter him, but he did a solid job behind the wheel of the W13 despite only running the hardest compound tire.

“Nyck was driving in place of George for the first session,” said Shovlin. “The program was never going to flatter him as we were only running the hard tire and working through a sequence of test items, but he did another very solid job.

“That finishes off his planned driving duties for our team and we are looking forward to seeing him race next year.”

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