Toto Wolff 'won't understand world' if Nyck de Vries is not signed for 2023

Toto Wolff & Nyck de Vries

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said that he’d be hugely surprised if Nyck de Vries did not have a race seat made available to him for the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The Dutchman stood in amicably for Alex Albon at the Italian Grand Prix after the Williams driver came down with appendicitis, something he is now recovering from at home after post-operative complications.

Indeed, it’s currently the case that Albon is going to be driving in Singapore next time out all being well, but De Vries showed that if he is needed again then he will be able to produce a good performance, after scoring two championship points on his F1 debut at Monza.

Over the course of the weekend, he also beat Nicholas Latifi in both qualifying and the race, which is some statement given how much experience the Canadian has accrued in recent seasons driving for the Grove-based team and, amid rumours the De Vries might take over from Latifi within the team for 2023, it’s clear the former Formula E champion has done his chances of that no harm at all in recent days.

Certainly, Toto Wolff appears convinced that De Vries has done enough to win a drive with either Williams or one of the other teams that has a vacant seat for next season, and has said that he’d not understand it at all if the Dutchman was not on the grid permanently in ’23:

“Niki (Lauda) would have taken off his hat,” said the Austrian.

“I think if one of the teams who still have a free seat don’t pick him up now, then I don’t understand the world anymore.”

nyck de vries
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 10: Nyck de Vries of Netherlands and Williams prepares to drive in the garage during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 10, 2022 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Nyck de Vries’ 2023 options

The ex-Formula 2 champion has a number of options available to him but it is Williams and Alpine that look the most likely destinations for next year.

Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Aston Martin have their driver line-ups sorted for 2023, whilst Alfa Romeo and Haas have one driver locked in and are likely to go for other options compared to De Vries.

AlphaTauri have decided neither seat just yet but it’s also hard to imagine De Vries heading there next season and, given his Mercedes connections and what he’s already done in the Williams, it could be the case he partners Albon next season in terms of most likely scenario.

Time will tell, but Nyck has done all he can.

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