Nyck de Vries: “I have to admit it’s a little bit of a relief”

2016 GP3 Series Round 7 Autodromo di Monza, Italy. Sunday 4 September 2016. Nyck De Vries (NED, ART Grand Prix) leads Antonio Fuoco (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _SLA7401

Nyck de Vries collected his first victory in the GP3 Series last weekend, with the Dutch driver starting on the front row for race two and soon finding a way past pole sitter Antonio Fuoco.

The Monza result moves de Vries up to fourth in the drivers championship, back ahead of Jake Dennis who had collected the win in race one. While the ART Grand Prix driver had initially made a poor start, it wasn’t long before he led home team-mate Alexander Albon and home driver Fuoco.

“Yeah I have to admit it’s a little bit of a relief,” de Vries started, when talking about his maiden victory. “It took a while before we finally got it but I think in the way we did it was really good. I didn’t have a very good start, I had too much wheel-spin so I dropped back to P4.

“But I showed strong racecraft and strong pace to come back and take the lead, pull away and win the race. As I said, we’ve come so close on so many occasions and had so many setbacks, sometimes out of our influence.

“It’s really nice to grab this win at the final European round. I spent a lot of time in Italy karting. I was here for four years so it feels like my second home ,so to do it here, makes me even more happy.”

Earlier in the race, Albon and De Vries title rival and team-mate, Charles Leclerc collided with Japanese driver Nirei Fukuzumi. Not only did this put the Monegasque driver out of the race, but also put De Vries under scrutiny when he decided to make the move on Albon for the lead.

Talking about his overtake, the McLaren Young driver said, “Well obviously he is my team-mate but we are all free to race. When you see a gap and you believe it’s possible, you go for it.”

The next GP3 event will be at the Sepang International Circuit on 1-2 October. Despite his crash Leclerc still leads the way, though the gap to fourth place De Vries has reduced to 73 points.