Will A Fellow Countryman Dethrone Verstappen In The 2023 Formula 1 Season?

Max Verstappen is a well-known racer, who has been racing for a long time and is a young Champion with a record of winning several races and awards. However, now he has some competition as his childhood friend. Nyck de Vries is making his debut in 2023 Formula One.

Max Verstappen
Nyck de Vries

Belgian Dutch Racing driver – Max Emilian Verstappen who was born on September 30th 1997, won the F1 World Championship in 2020 and 2021.

Max Verstappen and his dad – Jos Verstappen
Max Verstappen is F1 champion 2021!

Verstappen is the son of F1 competitor Jose Verstappen and Sophie Kumpen – a racing driver. He enjoyed success in the junior karting and single-seater divisions, breaking numerous records in the KF3, WSK World Series, KZ2 and European Formula 3. He races in F1 for Red Bull Racing while flying the Dutch flag. When he entered F1 at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, he was just 17 years old, making him the youngest driver ever. He became the youngest driver to ever win a F1 Grand Prix and the first Dutch driver to do so when he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix on his Red Bull Racing debut at the age of 18.

Sophie Kumpen – Max Verstappen’s mother, a former racing driver
Verstappen gets record-tying 13th win at US Grand Prix

Verstappen became the 34th F1 World drivers champion after taking the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to become the first Dutch driver to win the F1 World Championship. The next year, he captured his second straight F1 title.

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat would be replaced by Max Verstappen beginning with the Spanish Grand Prix, according to an announcement made by Red Bull Racing on May 5th 2016 following the Russian Grand Prix, Kvyat will then return to Toro Rosso. Verstappen started the Spanish Prix in fourth place but after Mercedes colleagues Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed out of the race, Verstappen moved up to second behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed out of the race
Daniel Ricciardo

Verstappen gained the lead in the race after being given a two-stop plan rather than the same three-stop strategy as Ricciardo. He then held off Kimi Räikkönen of Ferrari in the closing laps to win his Maiden F1 race. At the age of 18, he succeeded Sebastian Vettel as the driver who had previously held the record for the youngest driver to win a F1 Grand Prix.

Kimi Räikkönen
Sebastian Vettel

Verstappen secured a contract extension in 2020 to continue competing with Red Bull through the end of 2023. Verstappen extended his contract with Red Bull Racing for a further five years in March 2022, covering the seasons from 2023 to 2028. While on the other hand, Hendrik Johannes Nicasius “Nyck” de Vries, now Max’s competitor, is a Dutch racing driver who is now backup for the Mercedes AMG Patronas F1 Team. He was born on February 6th 1995.

De Vries won both the German Junior Championship and the WSK World Series for the KF3 Divisions in 2008. He won the European KF3 Championship and kept his WSK World Series in German Junior Championships in 2009. He won the 2010 Karting World Championships in September and 2011 saw him win the World Championship as well.

Nyck de Vries won the European KF3 Championship 2009

De Vries continue to play with Koiranen in 2014 and participated in the Euro Cup for the third time. In 11 of the 14 races, he placed on the podium after winning six of them. De Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne were both named as drivers for the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team for the 2019-20 Formula E season on September 11th 2019. He will drive for Scuderia Alphatauri full-time in F1 in 2023, it has been revealed.

Many people look at Max and Nyck as rivals but what they don’t know is that they have been friends. Nyck de Vries and fellow Dutchman Max Verstappen have been close friends since they were children on the karting track, so they will at least have one ally on the F1 grid when they compete in their first full season of the sport in 2023. During an interview with F1’s Beyond The Grid Podcast, De Vries was questioned about that all Dutch experience in his friendship with Verstappen. He gave his explanation. He stated “We’ve known each other since we were kids. We’ve grown up in the same era of racing. We approached karting in racing in our earlier years very similarly. We both traveled around in a van with our dads. We just really respect each other and saw each other every weekend pretty much. But strangely, because Max is two years younger than me, we never raced against each other. Monza was the first time in our lives we raced against each other. Ironically, we even ended up next to each other on the grid. We were texting about it the evening before the race on Saturday evening and we were texting again on Sunday evening”.

Nyck de Vries also paid respect to fellow Dutchman – Max Verstappen and the part he played in assisting him in obtaining his first F1 race seat. After failing to secure a spot in F1 for 2020 F1 season, De Vries was revealed on September 11th as a driver for the new Mercedes – Benz EQ Formula E team for the 2019-2020 Formula E season alongside Stoffel Vandoorne.

Stoffel Vandoorne

De Vries stayed on with Stoffel Vandoorne at the  Mercedes EQ Formula E team for the 2020-2021 campaign. He won the first race of the season Opening Diriyah ePrix doubleheader after starting on the poll and dominating every lap. This was his maiden series victory. De Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne continued to race for Mercedes during their final Formula E season. De Vries won the opening race of season 8 in Diriyah earned the poll the following day but came in 10th and concluded the season in 9th place overall with 106 points. De Vries departed after the campaign after signing a deal to participate in F1. In 2010 and 2016, De Vries received contracts with the Mc Laren young driver program and the Audi Sport Racing Academy respectively. Before the 2019 season, he left Mc Laren to concentrate on his responsibilities at Audi where he remained until September 2019.

De Vries will take Pierre Gasly’s place as the Scuderia Alphatauri driver for the 2023 season. Verstappen brought up the potential of moving to Alphatauri over their dinner and De Vries will join his compatriot on the 2023 grid after discussions with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. This will give the Netherlands two F1 stars to celebrate and make the Dutch Grand Prix even more exciting.

Helmut Marko

De Vries weighed in on the potential effects of another Dutch driver competing in F1 and the expected response at Zandvoort. He said “Obviously, Max deserves all the support in the world especially from our country. He is and he has been amazing but hopefully there will be some orange fans rooting and cheering for me too”. Nyck de Vries brings his Dutch prowess to the racetrack and we’re quite interested to see if Verstappen needs to be on his guard with this budding star. However, who knows what the future has in store for these two Dutchmen. Normally, in Alphatauri is no match for the Red Bull. There will  always be a double Dutch, double trouble and a lot more orange in the F1 stands. That much is certain.