Nyck de Vries has said he’s unsure if his status as a Mercedes reserve driver has blocked him from a seat in Formula 1.
The Dutchman had been linked with seats at Williams and Alfa Romeo for 2022, but a move to Formula 1 ultimately did not materialise for the talented 26-year-old.
His pedigree would suggest his talent is worthy of a seat, having been Formula 2 champion in 2019 and becoming Formula E’s first ever official World Champion earlier this year.
He currently combines Formula E with endurance racing, and recently went fastest in his IndyCar test as he assesses his options for driving in 2022.
The Mercedes reserve driver also topped his day of post-season F1 running in Abu Dhabi by around 1.4s, and despite his lingering hopes of a future in the premier class, he’ll still focus primarily on following his own path in motorsport.
“I don’t know,” the Dutchman responded when asked if his Mercedes link is stopping him getting into Formula 1, per Motorsport-Total.
“There is always a lot of talk in Formula 1. There is news all the time. But the only way I can keep my career going is to keep performing on the track. That is the most important thing. And that’s regardless of who I drive for.”
Having driven and tested in multiple categories, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E driver will defend his World title in the all-electric series in 2022, and he is likely to continue combining that with his endurance racing in LMP2.
He remains open-minded about what will happen in the future beyond next year, and insisted he’s staying “realistic” about his prospects in other series.
De Vried added that he’s aware things can change in motorsport and chances may open up for him, but he’s happy with how his career has gone so far.
“I am incredibly grateful for everything I can do at the moment,” he said. “I’m really enjoying the combination of Formula E and endurance racing right now.
“I just don’t know what will happen in the future. I am a very realistic person and concentrate on the present. I’ve also had the experience: things sometimes change very quickly. That’s why I’m looking forward to the new season.
“Then we will compete with Mercedes to defend the title. And I’m sure: if I continue to perform at my best, there will be new opportunities. Where, I don’t know. Time will tell.”