Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have hailed the performance of Nyck de Vries at the Italian Grand Prix, with reports swirling the Dutchman could be set for a permanent seat in 2023.
De Vries, 27, filled in for Alex Albon in Italy and led the Williams to ninth, their joint-best finish of the season, having test-driven for Mercedes.
He also leads the German’s team in Formula E, winning the championship last year and it seems a matter of when, not if, he becomes a part of the F1 grid.
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"Incredibly happy for Nyck, I'm really proud of him," Mercedes driver Hamilton said after Monza.
"He's such a good lad, a good human, and he's been a good part of our team working with us.
"For Nyck to have jumped in and finished in the top 10, that's mega for your first race."
Verstappen was equally enthusiastic about his compatriot whom he described as a great friend.
"For Nyck to jump in and deliver this performance is definitely not easy at all," he said.
"I think he did a great job from the things I saw, also in terms of defending.
"He just kept his cool, didn't make mistakes and I'm very happy for him to score the points. It's impressive, of course, in your first race."
According to reports, De Vries is being courted by Williams as well as Alpine, who want him to test for them as they look to replace Fernando Alonso, who will move to Aston Martin.
Motorsport-Total in Germany also report that Red Bull will look at him as an option to replace Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, who seems the front-runner for the open spot with Alpine.
It had been thought that American star Colton Herta, as part of the sport’s push into the US, would be the move but there are license issues.
Mercedes lead Toto Wolff added his support to De Vries’ inclusion next season saying: "What else can he do in terms of performance? No training, jump in the car he hasn't driven... he showed what he's capable of doing."
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