Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ‘insurance policy’ backed by Williams boss

Mercedes reserve driver Nyck De Vries has been praised by Williams chief Dave Robson after his exit at the Barcelona Grand Prix amid talk the Dutchman could be an ‘insurance policy’ for Toto Wolff if Lewis Hamilton retired.

Former Formula E champion De Vries took the Williams seat from Alex Albon in FP1 at the Circuit de Catalunya and Robson was impressed with the 27-year-old’s performance. De Vries has been on Mercedes’ books since 2020.

“His pace was there. His ability to understand the tire and do the exit lap correctly was truly impressive,” Williams performance manager Robson told the Formula 1 website.

“And then after that, his feedback after the session was extremely good. He had some very helpful feedback on the balance of the car, which is pretty much in line with what we heard from both race drivers.

“So I think in that regard, given that he’s only been in the car for an hour, I think he’s done a really good job, and he’s clearly got what he needs to be to be. a competition pilot of absolute quality.

“He deserves a place on the grid, I think, but so many people do. I think he took his opportunity well yesterday and I think he should be happy and proud of what he did.

Robson’s comments come after De Vries’ friend and racing driver Tom Coronel told the RacingNews365nl podcast: “If Lewis Hamilton stops, Nyck de Vries will get the seat. Do you know why? As I’ve been saying for a year, Nyck is Toto Wolff’s insurance policy.

Hamilton has again dismissed suggestions he could leave Mercedes at the end of this season. “Why should I stop? he told Corriere della Ser. “Let’s take this season: I probably won’t win the title, but I feel the same pleasure in competing as when I started.

“Maybe one day I won’t be able to take the pressure anymore, I’ll be tired, but that day hasn’t come yet”

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Justin D. O'Neill