Nyck de Vries believes the pressure he has faced to perform in Formula 1 has been “very different” to any championship he has competed.
The Dutchman made the switch to F1 having won the Formula E championship in 2021 with Mercedes, and also participated in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LMP2 class.
After a handful of FP1 outings with various teams in 2022, he was given a race debut with Williams to stand in for an ill Alex Albon at Monza. There he impressed Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, which led to him getting a seat with AlphaTauri for 2023.
Out of seven races he is just one of two drivers yet to score points, the other being fellow rookie Logan Sargeant. Questions over his future at the team have been asked, with de Vries acknowledging that it has not been the start to the season he had hoped.
“I do think there were moments that I was competitive and showing good potential, but I didn’t quite turn it into a result, or execute a result at the end of the weekend,” said de Vries to media, including RacingNews365.com.
“At the same time, we only completed five races up to Monaco and it was still early in the season. When it comes to pressure, I think as a driver, you can always fight for your survival. Because throughout your career, you always need to perform and deliver to continue your career forward successfully.”
De Vries believes the pressure he has experienced in F1 has been on a different level compared to the other championships, given the intense scheduling.
He added: “I don’t really think that it’s different now than at any other time in my career. But I can acknowledge that Formula 1 has been very different to any other championship I’ve been racing.”
De Vries: Approach different in junior formula to F1
Although Red Bull have been dominating the field up front, the midfield battle in F1 has still been the closest it has ever been.
Qualifying sessions have often been decided by tenths of a second, which is where AlphaTauri have struggled after a tough start to their season.
“I think that the most challenging bit is, first of all, the midfield is extremely tight and competitive and the margins are just very, very fine,” explained de Vries.
The level is vastly different to F1’s feeder championships according to the Dutchman – who won the Formula 2 title in 2019 – given the rate of development for each car.
He added: “I think in Formula 2, Formula 3, you have one free practice session, you start with full fuel, one compound, and then you go into quali with less fuel, but you still need to run the fuel throughout the session, and a different compound.
“So, actually, in F2 and F3, you only have two laps, which are actually counting. So, you can imagine that if you’re within 85 or 90 percent in those two laps, then you kind of put yourself there or thereabout.
“Whereas in Formula 1, I feel like everything is pushed so much towards the limit, and everything is developed and improved, both the package and the driver throughout the weekend until there is nothing left on the table. And that approach is different.”