Nyck de Vries Opens Up On His Lost F1 Dream: ‘Hurts’ But Positive For Formula E

Nyck de Vries started the 2023 season with AlphaTauri but his contract was terminated after only 10 races, ending his dream of continuing in Formula One. Now, the driver is fully committed to his career in Formula E driving for Mahindra Racing

X/ Mahindra Racing
Formula E, Mahindra Racing ver, Nyck de Vries Photo: X/ Mahindra Racing

Hurt that his dream of racing in Formula 1 ended "prematurely", Dutch racer Nyck de Vries is busy charting the next chapter of his life as the former champion returns to the Formula E series buzzing with positive energy. (More Formula E News)

The 28-year-old was axed by F1 team AlphaTauri after just 10 races as he failed to score points in his rookie F1 season last year.

"Of course, it hurts in a way to end your dream so quickly and prematurely but I have been able to reflect on it well," De Vries told PTI. 

De Vries had entered F1 on the back of championship-winning stints in F2 and Formula E and a long-time F1 reserve role, which meant there was more pressure on him to perform compared to other rookies.

"There was always pressure and I don't think I was necessarily in an easy situation and it didn't quite work out for various reasons. But pressure is relative, everyone experiences it. I'm thankful for the opportunities."

"I see life as a journey, it was a chapter in my journey and now I continue my journey elsewhere. When a door closes it always opens a new one," he added. 

After the F1 snub, the Dutch racer has returned to the familiar all-electric Formula E series, signing up with India's Mahindra Racing.

"The transition (from F1 to FE) happened really quickly. Quite shortly when it happened I travelled to London for the final round of the championship last year to be back in the paddock, in the environment, to see if there was a spot available for me this season. 

"Even though I took a bit of time out I also quickly focussed on building my program for this year. I'm very happy to be back in Formula E. I had a good break, good time off and now I'm full of positive energy," he added. 

Though he won the 2021 Formula E world championship, De Vries still has a lot to catch up on as the series has moved on from the Gen 2 to Gen 3 cars. 

"It was almost like 14-15 months ago that I last drove the Formula E car and that was a Gen 2, I had a couple of brief experiences in a Gen 3 car but a lot has developed since then," he said.

De Vries finished 15th in the season-opening Mexico City race and also in the Diriyah E-Prix. Given Mahindra's struggle with reliability and efficiency with the Gen3 car, he has realistic expectations from this season.

"It's about managing expectations. If people expect us to dominate this year they are dreaming. We collectively know where the team was at the end of last year. 

"The hardware didn't really change, that doesn't mean we can't make a lot of progress and improvements but we have to be realistic," he said. 

"It's more about the building process at the moment collectively and getting ready for building a solid structure for the near future when things do change and we start to fight in front," he added.

Much to the disappointment of the Indian fans, the second edition of the Hyderabad E Prix was scheduled to be held on February 10 was cancelled by Formula E due to an alleged breach of contract by the new Telangana government.

"India is a big part of our (Mahindra) DNA. I would have been happy to meet our colleagues in India and hopefully make them proud in their home country. It wasn't meant to be this year but hopefully in the future we will get to do it."