SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
Nyck de Vries eyes Vandoorne's McLaren role
The next young charger is now stepping up a notch at McLaren.
The British team announced at Monza that veteran Jenson Button is stepping aside for 2017, to be replaced by hot 24-year-old Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne.
That is also good news for Nyck de Vries, a 21-year-old Dutchman who is also part of McLaren's development programme.
"It is very good that Stoffel is now getting the chance he deserves," de Vries is quoted by the Dutch website formule1.nl.
He admitted the move is also good for his future.
"There will be some more space, which is obviously good," said de Vries. "McLaren had Kevin Magnussen and now Stoffel is being given a chance.
"So do I have hope? Yes, but on the other hand while it is close it (F1) is still far away," the GP3 frontrunner, who is managed by Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony, added.
"You have to keep proving yourself time and time again, otherwise it goes nowhere."
De Vries currently drives in GP3 for ART, and is tipped to step up to the main F1 feeder category GP2 next year, but he warns: "In this sport there are no guarantees.
"I don't know. We will have to wait."
As for what appears to be his sure path to the F1 grid in the future, de Vries also cautions: "To the outside world it may appear that these things are very planned, but they're not.
"If you consider McLaren, 2000 employees and a car that is performing a little below par, then Nyck de Vries is not first on their list of priorities," he said. "So we have to live with that."