Dan McCarthy

Reserve Mercedes F1 driver and Formula E driver Nick de Vries will make his Formula One debut at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.

The Dutchman will be driving Alex Albon’s Williams FW44 for a 60-minute workout before handing the car over to the Thai driver for the rest of the weekend.

De Vries is the reigning world champion in Formula E and a former Formula 2 champion, but at the age of 27 training on the Barcelona circuit in Catalonia will be his first in F1.

His appearance coincides with one of Williams ’two mandate sessions for young drivers, a rule that was introduced this year.

Williams is confident that de Vries will help the team prepare for qualifying and the Grand Prix.

“We look forward to Nick de Vries in the car for FP1, as it’s always good to work with a new driver and get a fresh look at the car’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Dave Robson, head of car performance.

“Nick’s experience and professionalism will be crucial on Friday as he passes some of the key engineering tests in FP1 before giving the car to Alex for FP2.”

The Dutch driver is incredibly grateful for this opportunity and hopes to be able to help the team this weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix.

“First, I would like to thank Williams for the opportunity to participate in FP1. It’s great for me to get to know the team and drive FW44, as well as get on the track during the Formula One weekend, ”de Vries said.

“Preparing for the test is still going well, and the team is incredibly supportive of me. I look forward to all the experience in Spain. “

Williams sporting director Sven Smiths is looking forward to meeting de Friese at the wheel.

“I look forward to Nick joining the team to participate in FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix,” he said.

“Since he is a very talented and experienced driver, I have no doubt that he will maximize his time in FW44 and give a strong, capable game for the team.”

De Friese currently shares Mercedes ’backup role with Stoffel Vandorn and previously tested Formula One technique when driving Merc in last year’s post-season Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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