Nyck de Vries says that he has a strong relationship with two-time World Champion Max Verstappen, insisting his Dutch compatriot is like a brother to him.
De Vries will make his full-season Formula 1 debut this year, racing for AlphaTauri alongside Max Verstappen.
His chances of obtaining a seat for the 2023 campaign were boosted heavily after his outing for Williams in Italy last year, where he substituted for an unwell Alexander Albon.
After his impressive run to ninth place in the race, de Vries was encouraged by Verstappen to call Dr Helmut Marko.
Speaking in a pre-season Q&A with AlphaTauri, de Vries says that he has a strong bond with Verstappen and sees him as a “big brother” – despite being a couple of years older than the two-time World Champion.
“Max and I have known each other since a very young age, as we grew up karting at a similar time, although we’ve never actually raced against each other,” said De Vries.
“The first time we actually raced together was in Monza last year, and we happened to be next to each other on the grid, so that was amazing.
“We have a great relationship, the way we grew up in racing, with our fathers being very involved and karting through Europe has been very similar and we have a great respect for each other.
“We’re obviously from the same country, speak the same language and we just get along.
“Despite the fact that I’m older, it almost feels like Max is my big brother within the Formula 1 paddock, he’s obviously achieved a lot and has so much experience already.”
De Vries replaces Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri this year, with the Frenchman departing to link up with the Alpine F1 squad.