Nyck de Vries admitted he was surprised to see Antonio Fuoco jump from third to first at the restart following a virtual safety car at the Hockenheimring, with the Dutchman being forced to settle for second after a battle with his ART Grand Prix team-mates Charles Leclerc and Alexander Albon and Koiranen GP’s Matt Parry.
De Vries was running second behind Albon when the VSC was deployed to recover the stranded car of Matevos Isaakyan in the final sector, but saw Trident racer Fuoco sweep passed both himself and team-mate Albon as the race restarted.
“I think if we hadn’t had the VSC then I could have challenged Alex towards the end of the race but obviously it didn’t happen,” said de Vries on gp3series.com. “I was really surprised by Antonio’s re-start, as all of the VSC boards switched to green at the same time and I assumed we were looking at the same thing. But clearly Antonio managed to be well in front of us. I don’t understand how he did it.
“Mid-race I was conserving my tyres a bit more than Charles. In the final laps, I was clearly a lot stronger than him and was being a bit held up by him as it was difficult to get pass. I managed to put him under a lot of pressure so he finally made a mistake and I gained the position.”
The Dutchman believes his pace has improved since Silverstone, and is happy to finally get the results he believes his performances have deserved in 2016.
“We’ve deserved this for a much longer time,” said de Vries. “We haven’t been able to put it together for many, many reasons. Our pace has been really strong since Silverstone as that’s when we made a step up.
“Fortunately, we’ve been really competitive. On paper it wasn’t always noticed but we are finally getting what we deserve.”