2022 Formula E: Chatting with Berlin E-Prix race winner Nyck de Vries
After a slow start to his season, Nyck de Vries has slowly climbed back up, and with his dominating win at Round 8 of the Formula E season at Berlin, he now sits at sixth position in the championship. We talk to the reigning Formula E world champion about his championship hopes, consistency and his future in the series.
After the race [Berlin race 2], it felt like I got some kind of a monkey off my back
"It's an English saying. We had a couple of difficult races in Rome. We didn't succeed to score any points in Monaco. Only one in Berlin. So we went for a bit of a tougher time after actually very good start of the season. And, you know, it was just a bit of a tough time there was not nothing really wrong, but at the same time, there was always something little missing that was preventing us from executing a good result. When you see others scoring and and getting away or pulling away, you obviously start thinking and you start thinking and you know that you have to make sure you get some some good points in. And even though I knew that there was nothing wrong, it still kind of eats each you by not being able to get any points on the board. So I was very relieved because obviously I knew that we had a very strong package this weekend. Unfortunately, in race one, we had such a significant brake split on the front axle that was preventing us from really being competitive enough because in this category, it only requires, a tenth and a half to be to be off the pace, and then that puts you out of out of real contention. So that's what happened on on Saturday. And luckily, everything kind of came together on the Sunday and, and we managed to in capitalise on the package we had."
Offers for the future and Mclaren buying the Mercedes FE team
"No, I did not get any other offers on the table [from Mclaren] for next year. There are some opportunities and different decisions to make within the next month or so. Whatever happens, I think I will be in a good place. But frankly speaking, at this point, I really don't know. I don't have a manager, so that's the starting point. What's on my mind? The reality, and truth, is that at this stage, even if I would have different offers, I don't know in which direction I would like to pursue my future yet, so I just want to wait and consider all the options thoroughly before deciding on a direction. So yeah, give it some time before before we know."
New track in Jakarta at the next round
"We literally received the video of the track this morning while I was in a meeting. I haven't really seen it. I did see pictures of the layout, and actually, it looks very attractive to me because it looks like the track is quite fast for FE standards. They're not a lot of low speed and tight corners, but just leave that with me because I need to do a bit more studying before taking my word on that. But I think generally it's, it's obviously always exciting to go to a new venur and a new track where no one has ever been before, because it's always a challenfe to discover everything so quickly. Everyone is putting a lot of time in their preparation and it just opens up all the opportunities a little bit more so and we definitely look forward to that. But you know in Formula E there's always a way to overtake because you obviously lift and coast and then there is a regening phase before you actually start to break. So I expect there's always an opportunity to get past someone."
Still in the championship fight?
"Well, I think what we delivered on Sunday, that is exactly what we needed after a bit of a difficult ride. But I don't think there is anything specific or different we need to do and, frankly speaking, we haven't done anything different from the beginning. Till this point in the season, we just found ourselves in a situation that we just didn't succeed to really execute any good points and found ourselves a little bit on the back foot without any real reasons. So, I think there's no kind of silver bullet. We just stick to what we know and we continue to do the work we do. And, I hope we now kind of break that momentum and we can now move forward, and focus on what is coming ahead. But you never know, really. You just need to focus on what is coming and trying to maximise the points you can on the day and then we'll see."
On the possibility of Formula E coming to India
"I would certainly love to be there. Going to new places I think is just always exciting for us because it always provides new challenges and challenges not only the technical team, but also the drivers, to learn a new track and learn new things. I think it's great that we as Formula E are travelling around the world and showcase what we can in different areas of the world."
Thoughts on the Gen 3 Formula E car
"I think that the racing would change a little bit because it looks like at least the front axle and front wing is a little bit more fragile in a way. I think the cars will not allow the same driving standards and way of racing because I think you simply damage your car quicker. So that is probably not possible. Which I think is probably a good thing. From a performance perspective, of course, it has more power. It's lighter. So yeah, we should improve our performance and then from a technical point of view, we are introducing a front motor on regeneration so we will use not only the rear axle to slow down the car and the brake but also the front and we are trying to regenerate energy from the front axle. So it's not a four-wheel drive under acceleration but it is under deceleration. And I think that kind of change is going to be one of the biggest elements fot taking consideration from a development point of view and learning."
On debut Formula 1 session at the Spanish Grand Prix with Williams
"Very thankful and grateful for the opportunity to run in an FP1 session and get to know the team but also to get myself out there during a Formula 1 weekend. I haven't really thought about real targets. Obviously, it's only a one-hour session and you get like three runs on two different compounds, which are both on the extreme spectrum. So it's gonna be a very interesting and exciting challenge, but I'm looking forward to the experience and hopefully I can do well, but you don't want to stray from such expectations. I don't really know what to expect. I think I'm gonna be thrown a little bit in the deep. I've only driven a Formula 1 car twice, which was both rookie tests in 2020 and 2021 with Mercedes. But the last time I've actually driven a very quick car on a track it's been a little while ago. So we'll require some adaptation from the street tracks we know."
On relationship with teammate Stoffel Vandoorne
"Well, I only have kind words about him as well and I don't want to make the bromance sound weird, but we've had a really good relationship since the beginning, really. We've known each other since 2010. So that's 12 years ago from now we met in karting and we grew up together through the ranks, we spent time at McLaren together and now we're actually teammates and I think we really respect each other and we understand that we have to work together in order to push the team forward. But there is also a very healthy relationship between us and the whole team, and that we have this common understanding that we were in it together and we are generally genuinely happy for the other when they do well. We speak the same language, which is very convenient because we get to gossip without people understanding what we say. We live in the same, kind of village. So we spend a lot of time together on and off track, and I think we actually have similar ways of working and approaches to our work. So, honestly only positive words about our relationship and our team at the moment."
On the championship scenario for the 2022 Formula E World championship
"I personally think that the whole top 10 can still win the championship. Of course, people in front are accumulating a bit more points but they're all different teams and it just shows the level of competitiveness and how how tight the championship is. So I don't necessarily think that it's only that that your rival teams are your only opponents, you even as an individual and as a team need to make sure you do your job right in order to execute the results. Look at this in Berlin race one. We certainly have the package to have a good race. But unfortunately we ended up with this issue which really prevented us from being competitive. So I think there are much more details and elements in the equation that decide whether you're competitive or not, but certainly those three races that are going to be different, will open up the opportunity to create a little bit of edge on the competition. But ultimately, this generation of cars have been around for quite some time now. Everyone has pushed everything so much to the limits that everyone is very competitive."