Mercedes may end up regretting losing Nyck de Vries to the Red Bull camp.
That is the plain admission of Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ trackside engineering boss.
Last year, the now 28-year-old Dutchman de Vries was the Brackley based team’s full-time reserve, who got his chance to debut when Mercedes-powered Williams driver Alex Albon was ill at Monza.
Off the back of that result, Dr Helmut Marko snapped up de Vries for Red Bull’s second team Alpha Tauri in 2023 – replacing Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly.
“We might regret letting him go,” Shovlin is quoted as admitting in a new book about Formula 1’s two Dutch stars Max Verstappen and de Vries.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him in the Red Bull factory team soon,” he added. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that happens in the next twelve months or so.
“I have no doubt that Nyck has the ability to win races if he’s in the right team with the right car. Because of his age he has less time to become world champion, but he makes up for that with his experience,” Shovlin said.
Shovlin indicated that Mercedes was simply unable to keep de Vries away from the Red Bull camp for 2023.
“We agreed with Nyck that he could choose the best option if we couldn’t place him with a Mercedes team,” he said.
“He fit in very well with our team and was the ideal test and reserve driver for us. But you can’t stop everyone forever.”