Nyck de Vries: F2 title 'almost revenge' for 2018 disappointment
Nyck de Vries says his 2019 Formula 2 title acted as a form of revenge in the wake of his failure to compete for overall honours the previous campaign.
De Vries, following a disrupted rookie year in 2017, replaced Charles Leclerc at Prema for 2018, but finished only fourth in the standings, behind F1-bound George Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon.
De Vries remained in the series this year, taking the seat vacated by Russell at ART Grand Prix, and clinched the crown with victory in Russia last weekend.
“It is almost like revenge,” said de Vries. “Obviously last year I was in a position to fight for the championship, which was a very tough championship with everyone who has now been promoted to Formula 1.
“I really blame myself for missing out on the real battle because I simply made too many mistakes at the start of the season in positions or situations where we were able to score big points.
“Then you're on the back foot from the beginning. I can see that difference the same way in our opponents this season.
“As soon as we started to grab the lead and have a little advantage, you could tell that they were sometimes making mistakes which were not necessary because they had the feeling that they had to try and catch up.
“I think we were in the position, although we were under pressure and we had to deliver, we were in control.
“As a kid you dream about Formula 1, and the route towards Formula 1, and I've had a very bumpy ride with a very successful karting period and difficult time in cars, and things changing.
“I only just managed to stay in single seaters and it felt like a second chance in Formula 2 because I blew my first last year.”
For de Vries it was a case of “unfinished business” with ART, having endured an underwhelming year in GP3 with the French operation in 2016.
“I was very thankful for the opportunity, especially to do it with ART because we had some unfinished business together from GP3, which was a very difficult season,” he said.
“Not in terms of pace, but it just didn't come together. They might look a little bit cold from the outside at times versus some other teams with a lot more emotion, but honestly it's a true family.
“When I joined it really felt like coming back to a family and I felt, from day one, very much supported and we worked as a family. It certainly didn't come from out of the sky. We really worked hard for it.
“With everything that's happened through the past years it all came together and I'm very pleased that I was able to have done this.
“Obviously I chose a different route and direction in my career, but I'm very pleased with that opportunity and at the same time I'm very thankful that at least I've been able to tick this box and no one will ever be able to take this away from me.”
De Vries, who has one F2 round remaining in Abu Dhabi, will switch full-time to Formula E, having signed for Mercedes’ nascent programme in the championship.