Formula 1

A reprimand for De Vries, a point for Zhou: a tale of two drivers

Nyck De Vries and Guanyu Zhou nearly collided at the end of the race in Monza, earning the Dutchman a stewards’ summons. He only received a reprimand after suffering from delicate brakes and responding to an order from his team, to which Xevi Pujolar, Alfa Romeo F1’s director of engineering, responded.
« It was strange because De Vries suddenly slowed down in a way that Zhou didn’t expect, » Pujolar explained. « And, in fact, he could have hit him from behind if he hadn’t been able to avoid it. It wasn’t ideal on that one.
« In this situation, a driver should not drive like that because it could be dangerous. The stewards then decided it was fine, and no action was taken other than what happened, so we take note of this. But Zhou was taken aback by this action.
Zhou tried and failed several times to get rid of the Dutchman’s Williams. Pujolar explained how difficult this was for the Chinese driver, but he was still pleased to bring the point back from tenth place.
« Sure, we had a chance. We had a good chance on a few laps, I believe. He was drafted by [Pierre] Gasly, and then Max [Verstappen] came along and passed us, so we must have lost some time at that point.
« Overall, I thought it was a good battle, but I would have preferred to stay in front because I believe we had a bit more pace except on the straight, where we all know they are. are extremely quick. I’m pleased for the team, and I believe everyone deserves it, both here and at the factory.
Zhou reveals that De Vries fought hard for his position, and that despite his desire to take him, he preferred to land the blow: « He was moving quite late in the braking zone, so it was quite difficult for me to dive. However, you must comprehend it.
« I was very focused on the race because I knew I couldn’t take any chances because I knew how badly he wanted the points and how badly I wanted the points for the team. As a result, it was difficult until the end, but I’m glad we finished where we did.