Pascal Wehrlein lashed out at Formula E rival Nyck de Vries on Sunday during the final race of the season, venting over team radio that he hopes the Dutchman “doesn’t get to F1” in the future.
Wehrlein was on the receiving end of an aggressive defensive move from de Vries, who in the first round of the London E-Prix, lost a podium with a late penalty for the same kind of infringement.
The Mercedes junior, who has been tied to a possible Formula 1 seat for the 2023 season, has been criticised on several occasions this season for pushing the limits with his driving.
Round 16 saw him collect another five-second time penalty and two points on his license for moving under braking – although he had, like Wehrlein, been forced to retire when the two made contact on Lap 7.
“I hope he doesn’t get to F1,” was Wehrlein’s first comment, as he sat fuming in his stationery Porsche after the incident.
The German later added that de Vries had already cost him “one or two positions” prior to their race-ending crash, when the Mercedes EQ driver had changed direction more than once going into Turn 20, forcing Wehrlein to slam on his brakes and lock his tyres to avoid him.
“One lap later I think he took attack mode and the first possible option he tried an over-optimistic move into Turn 1 – sliding completely to the exit of the corner, crashing into my car, braking the suspension, destroying his race with way too late braking so he didn’t really get the corner anymore which isn’t really understandable,” he said talking to The Race.
“It’s not the standard of this championship,” Wehrlein continued. “I mean… these moves! In the end my race was destroyed, his race was destroyed and he got two penalty points for it, license points.”
“It’s quite often the same drivers with over-motivated moves,” he added, referring to de Vries’s record. “Unfortunately this time I was the victim of him.”
De Vries finished the season ninth in the Drivers’ standings, one spot ahead of Wehrlein. With the latter confirmed to continue with Porsche for Season 9, driving alongside his newly announced teammate Antonio Felix Da Costa, de Vries’ future in Formula E has yet to be confirmed.