Mercedes have announced that their reserve driver, Nyck de Vries will be behind the wheel of the W13 during the first practice session of this weekend’s French Grand Prix in place of Lewis Hamilton.
The FP1 run for the 27 year old, is a part of the 2022 sporting regulations, that teams are obliged to run rookie drivers in two FP1 sessions across the season. Red Bull and Williams have already completed one session so far.
This will be the Dutchmans second FP1 outing of the season, he took the wheel of the Williams FW44 in place of Alex Albon at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this season.
This isn’t the first time De Vries will be in a Mercedes car, he jumped in the Merc at last year’s post-season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test as well as 2020. He is currently the reigning Formula E Champion, taking the title for Mercedes last year alongside fellow Mercedes reserve, Stoffel Vandoorne. Again, De Vries is driving in Formula E sitting eighth in the standings with four races left.
Nyck is replacing Lewis in first practice this weekend, as part of the allocated sessions for young drivers this year. So, we’re looking forward to seeing how he gets on. Our understanding of the W13 is growing with every lap and it’s encouraging to see that reflected in our development and results. While we were quicker in Austria, we still weren’t quick enough to challenge at the front. We need to keep chasing those final few tenths and bringing new developments to the cars, including this weekend in France. Paul Ricard is a very different track and challenge. It has smooth tarmac and a wide range of corner types, along with long straights. The aim will be to make further inroads on the gap to the front and hopefully be back on the podium.Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principle.