Nyck de Vries has given some insight on his friendship with Max Verstappen, with the Dutch pair on the F1 grid together in 2023.
De Vries is in his debut campaign as a full-time F1 driver, and has doubled the amount of Dutchmen on the grid with reigning world champion Max Verstappen obviously the other.
They are a pair that have been familiar with one another for a while, too, with them knowing each other as youngsters as they embarked on their respective motorsport journeys.
Verstappen, of course, ran on rails to get into F1 as a teenager whilst De Vries has taken a much more round about route, eventually getting his full-time chance in the sport at the age of 28 with AlphaTauri for this year.
Indeed, De Vries is the older driver but Verstappen is the more experienced, at least in terms of F1, and both are surely pleased to be sharing the grid with the other, even if Max is in a totally different area of the field to Nyck thanks to the prowess of the Red Bull RB19.
Both inside the Red Bull family now, too, De Vries has revealed the high regard in which he holds his compatriot and the relationship they have:
“We chat regularly. We’ve known each other since we were kids and I respect him a lot and admire all those achievements and accomplishments,” he told GIVEMESPORT.
“He is a really good human being. He is very genuine, always. I would say he has never changed since I’ve known him, like never.
“We’ve talked a lot about racing together, and sort of through that, obviously, comes kind of advice. I wouldn’t call it specifically ‘advice,’ but it’s similar to how, you know, friends talk about football or talk about racing in school.”
Naturally, with Verstappen’s success in mind, there has been a surge in popularity for F1 in the Netherlands – rather mirroring the sport’s growth on a wider scale globally.
Driving in this period of increased interest both at home and abroad is something that hasn’t been lost on De Vries either:
“In the Netherlands I think Formula One in general is booming. It’s quite unique to be in Formula One at its highest point of interest [from fans etc] and I think it certainly hasn’t achieved its peak yet.
“When it comes to the Netherlands, I doubt it gets any bigger than this. Because having someone who won two world championships and who’s continuing to fight for many more, I’m not sure how many years we would have to wait for next one. Living in this era is very special.”
Look out for more of our exclusive chat with Nyck de Vries in the coming days!