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de Vries suffers setbacks in first official test

Nyck de Vries hasn’t enjoyed the most positive start to his Formula E career, having been confined to the garage for most of the opening day before crashing at the temporary chicane on the second day.

de Vries enters into his rookie season of ABB Formula E with the new Mercedes EQ squad, which took over from HWA Racelab to become a works Mercedes-Benz outfit.

The Dutchman suffered mechanical issues with his Silver Arrow 01 on day one after a blown RESS fuse compromised his running, and this morning made a mistake into turns one and two, finding himself in the barrier with damage to his car.

“This morning the first run was pretty good, everyone has their own programme and we seemed to have no issues,” said the 24-year-old, explaining what happened during his crash. “Everything was fine and it looked like it was going to be a relatively straightforward day, but unfortunately I made a mistake going into turns one and two.

“The entry speed was similar to before, but just a little bit too much through the apex of turn one and that was enough for me to hit the wall on the exit of turn two, so my mistake.

The crash followed on from limited running on Tuesday, but de Vries was still able to emerge on track in the final moments to get himself on the timing screen with a couple of representative lap times.

“Yesterday we were just experiencing a lot of different issues. The final consequence was the same for most of the cars, but the way that the problem was being triggered was coming from different sources, so we had quite a lot of work to do.

“Luckily I managed to get two laps in at the end of the afternoon yesterday. Today everything looked to be ok but I made a mistake and crashed. Hopefully the guys can get everything repaired quickly and we can continue our work.”

Having previously worked for McLaren F1 as a development driver, de Vries recently cut ties with the Woking-based squad and joined forces with Mercedes, which led to him spending time on the simulator and eventually striking a deal to race for the Silver Arrows in its all-electric programme.

“It’s no secret that every young driver shares the same dream and ambition to become a Formula 1 driver, however there are only so many seats and the market was very much locked this season. At the same time, Mercedes and myself started working together as a simulator driver for the Formula 1 team and that’s how we started our relationship.

“As the season went on we came together to discuss this potential opportunity and I felt that without doubt this is the best opportunity and direction for me in my career right now. I’m very thankful for the opportunity that Mercedes has given me and I hope that we can make it a successful story.”

His teammate, fellow former McLaren driver and GP2/F2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne, now has a year of experience under his belt and de Vries hopes to maintain a positive working relationship with the Belgian.

“I think I can learn a lot off him, obviously Stoffel is a great driver. He has proven himself all the way through his single seater career up to Formula 1 and in this series. He has a lot of experience and I have a lot of respect for him.

“We’ve known each other for a long time, so we get on well and so far it’s been good but short. Hopefully we can help the team together to develop as soon as possible.”

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.