De Vries: F2 title feels like "revenge" for poor 2018

Nyck de Vries has described his 2019 Formula 2 title triumph as "revenge" for what he considers to have been a sub-par 2018 campaign.

De Vries: F2 title feels like "revenge" for poor 2018

As the only driver who finished in the top five of the standings in 2018 to stay in F2 full-time this year, de Vries started the season as title favourite as he moved across from Prema to join defending champion outfit ART Grand Prix.

The Dutch driver surpassed early-season leader Nicholas Latifi with back-to-back feature race wins at Monaco and Paul Ricard and managed to secure the title with a round to spare with victory in the opening race at Sochi last weekend.

Reflecting on his success, de Vries said this year made up for a 2018 campaign in which he was beaten by three drivers who subsequently stepped up to F1: George Russell (with Williams), Lando Norris (with McLaren) and Alex Albon (with Toro Rosso and then Red Bull).

Asked what the title meant to him, the new Mercedes Formula E signing replied: "Almost like revenge. Obviously last year I was in a position to fight for the championship, which was a very tough championship with everyone who has now been promoted to Formula 1.

"I really blame myself for missing out on the real battle because I simply made too many mistakes at the start of the season in positions or situations where we were able to score big points. Then you're on the back foot from the beginning.

"I can see that difference the same way in our opponents this season. As soon as we started to grab the lead and have a little advantage, you could tell that they were sometimes making mistakes which were not necessary because they had the feeling that they had to try and catch up.

"I think we were in the position, although we were under pressure and we had to deliver, we were in control."

Nyck De Vries, ART Grand Prix

Nyck De Vries, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: Joe Portlock / LAT Images

He added: "Last year we were a little too focused on winning, specifically, and not gathering points. To be honest I knew that I wasn't like that, if that makes sense. I made mistakes that were just not 'me'. I'm happy that I've been able to prove this year the opposite."

De Vries' F2 title comes at the end of a three-year stint in the F1 feeder series, which followed difficult seasons in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2015 and GP3 in 2016.

He was a McLaren young driver for much of that time but parted ways with the Woking-based outfit at the end of 2018 after he "blew" his first opportunity to win the F2 title.

"As a kid you dream about F1, and the route towards F1, and I've had a very bumpy ride with a very successful karting period and difficult time in cars, and things changing," he recalled.

"I only just managed to stay in single-seaters and it felt like a second chance in Formula 2 because I blew my first last year. I was very thankful for the opportunity, especially to do it with ART because we had some unfinished business together from GP3 [in 2016], which was a very difficult season. Not in terms of pace, but it just didn't come together.

"With everything that's happened through the past years it all came together and I'm very pleased that I was able to have done this.

"Obviously I chose a different route and direction in my career, but I'm very pleased with that opportunity and at the same time I'm very thankful that at least I've been able to tick this box and no one will ever be able to take this away from me."

Nyck De Vries, ART Grand Prix

Nyck De Vries, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: Carl Bingham / LAT Images

shares
comments
Shwartzman "99 percent" sure of step up to F2

Previous article

Shwartzman "99 percent" sure of step up to F2

Next article

Doctors “confident” in Correa after 17-hour surgery

Doctors “confident” in Correa after 17-hour surgery
Load comments
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Prime

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds Prime

The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds

It's a long way from Pukekohe New Zealand to Milton Keynes, but Red Bull's Kiwi protege Liam Lawson has defied plenty of odds to reach the rung below F1. He's endured disappointment since winning on his F2 debut in Bahrain, but is determined to turn his season around and prove himself worthy of a place on the F1 grid

FIA F2
Jul 27, 2021
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Prime

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books Prime

How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype.

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Prime

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends.

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Prime

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come.

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Prime

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021