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F1 | Spanish GP | Nyck de Vries hadn't been so nervous in two years after making FP1 debut

It was a strong FP1 from the Dutchman as he outpaced Nicholas Latifi in the other Williams. Nonetheless, he was self-criticial of his performance.

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F1 | Spanish GP | Nyck de Vries hadn't been so nervous in two years after making FP1 debut
Fuente imagen: Williams Racing

After two tests for Mercedes in the post-season events at Abu Dhabi in 2020 and 2021, Dutch driver and reigning Formula E World Champion Nyck de Vries had the opportunity in FP1 to take part in an official F1 session for the first time as he drove for Williams on Friday afternoon.

Speaking to MotorLAT and other media outlets after his practice debut, the Dutchman admitted he hadn’t been so nervous for an event in the last couple of years.

“I will admit I haven’t been so nervous than I was today in the last two years.

“Obviously I’m fighting for race wins and championships, but kinda making your debut in a Formula One weekend is very special and unique.

“I definitely felt some pressure but once you’re in the car, you close your visor, start the engine, you just forget everything else and then you stick to what you know and actually that’s where I’m comfortable.”

As well as the nerves he was feeling, he was surprised by his parents who turned up to watch this special moment. 

"Last night my father sent over 20 pictures of his kind of roadmap from the past two days. I couldn't figure it out but he suddenly turned up here; my mum and her partner were suddenly in front of me in the grandstands. It just shows that we've come from a long way and we've all lived this kind of path together. 

The 27-year-old admitted it wasn’t easy to get in the car due to the fact he’s never driven the Williams or used the 18 inch tyres.

Pirelli have brought their hardest compound to Barcelona, multiplying the difficulty for de Vries to get up the speed on his first run in FP1.

“It wasn’t easy to jump in. I didn’t know the car, I didn’t know the 18 inch tyres and starting on the C1 which is very difficult to get in the temperature operating window. I had quite little grip in the beginning.

“It wasn’t easy but ultimately we did a decent job.”

de Vries is unsure if this opportunity will lead to an F1 drive in the future, stating that he wanted to treasure the moment and not thinking too far ahead.

“I don’t know. At this point I just really kinda focused on the day, the moment and I tried to enjoy it as well because I think in life we always forget to enjoy the moment. I really tried to do that.”

Despite lapping a tenth faster than teammate Nicholas Latifi in FP1, the Dutch star was self-criticial of his performance and explained the areas where he felt things could have gone better.

“I’m happy with my performance, although I’m very critical [of myself] as well and I think there was much more in it today taking everything into consideration... technically but also when we went out and catching traffic in the last sector.

“I don’t want to have any excuses, I just say I always wanna do better, but at the same time I did enjoy the experience and happy I got a go.”

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