Tales from the paddock: Nyck de Vries: “There is never just the one key to success”

18.
November 2020
Stuttgart

Successful weekend for the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport family: Lewis Hamilton secures a historic seventh F1 world championship title, and Mercedes-AMG Motorsport wins the manufacturers’ title in the GT World Challenge

  • This is what happened: Results and facts
  • News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
  • Four questions for Nyck de Vries
  • Social media news: What’s new online?

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • F1: Lewis Hamilton wins the Turkish Grand Prix to clinch his seventh world championship title
  • GT World Challenge: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport secures the manufacturers’ title for the second year in succession
  • GT4 European Series: Two victories for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 at the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet
  • 24H Series: Double podium for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello

News snippets

Facts & figures from Istanbul: The return of the Turkish Grand Prix to the F1 calendar will be remembered by fans all around the world for a long time to come. After a nine-year absence, the premier class of motor racing returned to the Intercity Istanbul Park last weekend. A qualifying session made chaotic by heavy rain was followed by a no less absorbing rain-affected race on Sunday, from which Lewis Hamilton not only emerged as the winner after a masterly performance but also secured his seventh FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship. This 94th Grand Prix victory was his second triumph in Istanbul, the first having come in 2010, and his tenth of the current campaign. With three races to go before the end of the season, he has already sewn up the World Championship and delivered the seventh consecutive world championship double for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. This seventh title puts Lewis on level pegging with previous record championship winner Michael Schumacher in yet another chapter of Formula 1 #HIS7ORY that he has written together with the team.

Ready for the test drives: Preparations for Season 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship are in full swing. After the media presentation of the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 02 and of drivers Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne, the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team is now preparing for the next item on the agenda prior to the season opener. The official test drives for the all-electric racing series will take place at Circuit Ricardo Tormo on the outskirts of Valencia between 28 November and 1 December. All twelve teams with their 24 cars will be in action during the three days of testing (Monday is a day off). The first race event of the season is scheduled for the weekend of 16/17 January, when Santiago de Chile will be hosting two E-Prixs.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport wins manufacturer’s title in the GT World Challenge: For the second year in succession, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has prevailed against high-calibre competition to win the manufacturer’s title in the GT World Challenge. In the combined GT World Challenge Europe and America classification, the Customer Racing teams with their Mercedes-AMG GT3s amassed the largest points tally. The title defence was wrapped up in the season finale of the GT World Challenge Europe at Circuit Paul Ricard. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing also won three individual titles in the highly competitive GT3 racing series, including the prestigious drivers’ championship. Timur Boguslavskiy (RUS) in the number 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by AKKA ASP Team was the best of the GT3 drivers after 14 sprint and endurance races. In the final six-hour race at Circuit Paul Ricard, the car driven by Boguslavskiy and his team-mates Maximilian Buhk (GER) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA) developed a fault, but despite their eventual P18 finish, he deservedly won the title by a nine-point margin. The 20-year-old has ascended the podium no fewer than eight times this season, including two appearances on the top rung. Team-mate Marciello finished the season third in the drivers’ championship. Madpanda Motorsport and their driver Ezequiel Perez Companc (ARG) in the number 90 Mercedes-AMG GT3 contributed two more titles as winners of the team and driver standings in the Silver Cup. The best race results in this category at Circuit Paul Ricard were posted by Sergei Afanasiev (RUS), Michele Beretta (ITA) and Hubert Haupt (GER) in the number 5 car of Haupt Racing with a P3 podium finish in their class. The team and its driver pairing of Afanasiev and Haupt finished as runners-up in the final classification of the Endurance Cup.

A perfect conclusion to the GT4 European Series: The Customer Racing teams rounded off the season in style with two overall race wins and two class wins in the final of the GT4 European Series, which was also held at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Lluc Ibañez and Xavier Lloveras (both ESP) in the number 15 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of NM Racing won the two one-hour races, while Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla (both FRA) in the number 87 car of AKKA ASP secured the victory in the Pro-Am class with two overall P4s. There were also successes to celebrate in the final championship standings: Selleslagh Racing ended the season in second place in the team classification with Bob Herber (LUX) as runner-up in the Am classification, while NM-Racing driver Xavier Llloveras finished second in the Silver Cup.

Lloveras's team pulled off a logistical masterstroke following the double victory at Paul Ricard. The winning car was transported to Barcelona on Saturday evening, where NM Racing Team were due to compete in the Campeonata de España Resistencia. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 arrived in good time for qualifying on Sunday at 10am. Jesús A De Martin Muñoz and Rafael Villanueva (both ESP) finished the race in overall P5, which was enough for them to record victory number 4 of the season in the C3 class.

Mercedes-AMG finishes IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge as runner-up in the manufacturers’ championship: The consistent performance of the Customer Racing teams and their Mercedes-AMG GT4s in this year’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge has been rewarded with the runner-up spot in the manufacturers’ championship. The teams booked one race win and six podium places in 2020. The highlight was the historic podium lockout in the season opener at Daytona. Jim Cox and Dylan Murry (both USA) of Riley Motorsport were the best of the Mercedes-AMG GT4 contingent, finishing the season in third place overall after a P5 in the final two-hour race at the Sebring International Raceway.

In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship twelve-hour race at the same venue, the number 74 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Riley Motorsports driven by Lawson Aschenbach, Marc Miller and Gar Robinson (all USA) again scored points with a P8 finish.

CP Racing bring home two titles in the 24H Series: The 24H Series season concluded with a twelve-hour race at Mugello in Italy. Two titles went to Customer Racing team CP Racing. At the end of the 302 laps, Charles Espenlaub, Shane Lewis and Charles Putman (all USA) in the number 85 Mercedes-AMG GT3 took second place in the general classification for the second time this season, thereby clinching the team championship in the GT3-AM classifications of both the 24H Series Europe and the 24H Series Continents. It was a double podium, with the family quartet of Thomas Gostner, David Gostner, Manuela Gostner and Corinna Gostner (all ITA) in the number 58 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of MP Racing finishing the last race of the season in third place.

Podium finish in Thailand: There was also a podium finish to celebrate at the Thailand Super Series event in Buriram. Anusorn Asiralertsiri and Pasarit Promsombat (both THA) in the number 7 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of YK Motorsports Billionaire Boy By Sunoco finished second in the first of the two one-hour races.

Four questions for Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries made his debut in Season 6 of the all-electric race series and ended the year as Best Rookie in eleventh place. He took his maiden podium as runner-up in the Berlin season finale and helped secure the team’s first one-two finish in the series. In Season 7, Nyck will once again be lining up for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team.

Season 7 will be your second in Formula E. Do you now feel at home in the series and in the team?

Nyck de Vries: The team still had to come together to some extent at the start of their debut season and become more practised. That also applied to me, because when I began, I was still in Formula 2 while having to make my preparations for Formula E. I had to do everything at the same time and just went with the flow. I probably didn’t feel quite as much at home as I do now. It always takes time and is something that can’t be forced. However, we developed a strong working relationship during the season and have gradually become more in tune with one another. I never noticed at the time but can see in retrospect that there’s an obvious difference between how I felt back then in the team and now. I am very happy with my position in the team and with all concerned.

How difficult did you find learning to manage energy management and strategy, things that are vital in Formula E?

Nyck de Vries: Although there wasn’t much time in pre-season testing, I tried to prepare for what I might have to face at race weekends and in the course of the season, but the truth is, none of it is the same as in a real race. On a test day, you are out on track alone, posting laps. It’s a perfect race to all intents and purposes, but in a real race, you are always battling other drivers and constantly having to make decisions about, for example, whether to use up energy there and then, whether to attack, defend or maintain position for the time being while waiting to see how the race develops. It’s very difficult, and striking the right balance is enormously challenging. What’s more, you also have to deal with opponents whose strategy you don’t know, which is very difficult too. Generally speaking, Formula E’s format is hugely challenging. Everything takes place on a single day, and you have very little time for practice – it’s all quite different and demanding, but ultimately, that’s racing. It’s a racing car, and I would say I’ve adapted well. I still have a lot to learn, of course, but we are on the right track. In the championship, too, everything was new and different initially. You are expected to perform straight away, but at the same time, you must first get accustomed to things. I’m happy with how quickly we’ve adapted, not just as a team, but also with regard to me personally. Formula E is a very interesting and innovative series – one of the best in my opinion. I think it’s the way forward, and am delighted to be part of it.

Are there any areas where you would like to do better in Season 7 compared to your rookie season?

Nyck de Vries: There is never just one route to success. There are always many different aspects that lead to a result. I think qualifying is very important, and I would like to improve a bit in the Super Pole. If we could start a little further forward in the races, then our chances of achieving a decent result with our strong package would be good. However, we were a little further down the order sometimes, making things more difficult for us in races, so I would like to do better in such circumstances, especially as regards to managing energy intelligently and overtaking.

What are you most looking forward to in Season 7?

Nyck de Vries: I’m really looking forward to driving on proper Formula E tracks again and returning to a more normal race schedule and environment after the situation we were faced with at the end of last season. Formula E did a phenomenal job with the Berlin finale and delivered an event that was safe for all concerned, but we had to contest an awful lot of races at the same venue. In actual fact, so far, I’ve only raced on a third of the circuits that would normally be on the calendar, and I’m wondering what the other Formula E circuits and venues are like.

Social Media News

#HAMIL7ON: Lewis Hamilton looks back on an exciting day that saw him become Formula 1 World Champion for the seventh time.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXwlhmJBkIY

Press Contact

  • Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Communications Director / F1-Communications
  • Tel: +44 1280 844484

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