Looking to the future after being unfairly ousted from Formula 1, what’s next for Nyck de Vries? Could it be a Formula E return?
Just hours after Nyck de Vries found himself unceremoniously ousted from the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team in favour of Daniel Ricciardo, speculation is already running rampant as to what could be the next move for the Dutchman. Assuming a return to Formula 1 is out of the question – due to the highly competitive nature of Formula 1, as opposed to any lack of ability on de Vries’ part – there are still a great number of options available for the former Formula E World Champion.
The Obvious Choice
Less than a year removed from the all electric series, the comfortable choice for Nyck de Vries might be to go home to Formula E. However, with their season drawing to a conclusion, it seems incredibly unlikely that we’ll see him race there this year. A triumphant return for the 2024 season seems eminently possible, though, and he may have the choice of a few teams.
According to The Race, the two most likely scenarios are Maserati MSG and Nissan. Maserati makes a lot of sense; it is the team that De Vries was going to drive for this season, had he not been signed to AlphaTauri. The problem for de Vries now is that the team has already moved on. Maserati has Edoardo Mortara signed to a long term deal and they have been great success from Maximilian Günther, currently 7th in the World Championship.
The Nissan notion seems more feasible for all involved. While the team are unlikely, and would be foolish, to replace Sacha Fenestraz, who is having an excellent debut season in Formula E, but Norman Nato is another matter entirely. While Nato brings a veteran presence to the team, his performance has not exactly been in line with the capability of the Nissan machine, considered amongst one of the best drives in Formula E this season. Norman Nato’s deal was short term and the Japanese team can let go of him at the end of the season, should they wish.
At worst, a seat could be available at Mahindra, as well, depending on what is going on with Oliver Rowland. It’s not looking likely that he returns to the team after the two parties “mutually agreed” to part ways back in May.
A Simultaneous Option
Racing in Formula E could allow de Vries to resume another plan he had lined up prior to leaving for Formula 1. Like his previously arranged deal with Maserati, de Vries also had a deal in place to race with Toyota in the World Endurance Championship. De Vries had been signed to Toyota Gazoo as a reserve driver in 2020, having previously proved himself in the LMP2 category with Racing Team Nederland.
Several drivers have made successful careers of driving in both Formula E and the WEC, such as Jean-Éric Vergne, André Lotterer and Sébastien Buemi, so there’s no reason that de Vries could not do the same, should he choose.
Although this has not been discussed or rumoured in any way, the NTT IndyCar Series is also another possibility for de Vries. The Formula E driving style lends itself well to IndyCar, which mostly races on temporary street circuits with 90° corners and plenty of opportunity for wheel to wheel competition. After getting a taste of top level open wheel racing in Formula 1, de Vries may not be ready to let that go.
Were Nyck de Vries to race in the IndyCar Series, he would join Rinus VeeKay as the other Dutchman on the grid and could join a line of successful F1 converts such as Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean.
Where would you like to see de Vries race in 2024? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section and be sure to follow JEZ Sports on social media for more news from Formula E and Formula 1.