Nyck de Vries: “It’s special driving with the McLaren colours”

by Paul Hensby

Nyck de Vries spoke to The Checkered Flag during the World Series by Renault round at Silverstone, and spoke about his year driving for the multiple championship-winning DAMS team and how he has developed as a driver during the season after stepping up from a double Formula Renault 2.0 championship win in 2014.

The young Dutch driver admits it is special to be driving with the colours of McLaren in the Formula Renault 3.5 series after being taken onto their young driver programme, but knows he still has to deliver behind the wheel to justify their decision. He also does not feel like he is the ‘forgotten’ McLaren junior behind the highly rated Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne.

“It’s special driving with the McLaren colours,” revealed de Vries to The Checkered Flag. “But when you’re in the car you don’t see it. It’s obviously really great to have their support but we are here to deliver. They give an all-round support to me, everything a driver needs in the early stages of his career.

“I strongly believe if you do good things and show you deserve that seat, you will get it at some point, and I don’t think I’m at that stage yet [to be compared to Kevin and Stoffel].

Looking over his season, where he has a best finish of second at Motorland Aragon and again at Spa-Francorchamps, de Vries admitted it has been a while since he was in a position to be fighting for the victory, but felt he has grown as a driver during six rounds of the championship.

“It’s been a while since I’ve put myself in a winning position, but I think we’ve done quite well,” revealed de Vries. “Other teams have seemed to do better but winning is what we’re here for.

“I’m obviously more integrated within the team and comfortable with the car and with the different procedures, and more comfortable in the environment. It was obviously quite a big step up, with a lot of new things to learn, so from that prospective, I’ve gained experience.”

The withdrawal of Renault from the championship at the end of this season has thrown doubts in de Vries’ mind about his future, with the Dutchman admitting that he may not be interested in a return to the championship in 2016.

“For 2016, obviously Renault is pulling out of this series, so this changes things,” said de Vries. “I would have liked to have done another year of this but as Renault is pulling out I’m not sure how interesting this is.

“Of course in the back of your mind you tend to think about it sometimes, but at the moment it’s mainly down to the end of the season and we’ll see what happens.”

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