Formula One

De Vries forced to ‘massively’ change physical routine for F1


Nyck de Vries’ graduation to F1 has changed the trajectory of the Dutchman’s motorsport career, but it has also forced the 27-year-old to “massively” upgrade his physical training regimen.

A year ago, De Vries had embarked on another season in Formula E with Mercedes, the all-electric series having become his home for the foreseeable future.

However, as one of the Brackley squad’s reserve drivers in F1, the reigning FE champion was handed several FP1 outings with the latter and Mercedes customer teams Williams, McLaren and Aston Martin.

When Alex Albon was hit with an acute case of appendicitis on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Williams called upon de Vries to replace its afflicted driver.

It was the chance of a lifetime for de Vries who scored a top-ten finish in his one-off and acquitted himself so well that Red Bull took a keen interest in his services and eventually handed him the race seat at AlphaTauri vacated by Alpine bound Pierre Gasly.

But heading into his new endeavor and into F1’s lengthy 23-race season, de Vries has taken it upon himself to boost his physical training to be prepared as best as possible for his rookie year among motorsport’s elite.

“Basically, my journey up until Formula 2, I’ve always been quite committed on training,” commented de Vries, speaking on the AlphaTauri Tauri Talk podcast.

“I enjoyed training, always trained with a coach. But then when I moved into Formula E, away from Formula 2 and Formula 1, the necessity of being fit just becomes less important.

“Suddenly, a lot of other things become more important in life. You just prioritise according to what is most important for the performance on track.

“Frankly speaking, in the past two or three years, I’ve mainly been exercising how I like, joining gym classes for fun. I’ve always been active and training, but never really with a routine.”


De Vries has enrolled the services of trainer Pyry Salmela, a long-standing member of the F1 paddock and of the AlphaTauri team who served most recently as Gasly’s performance coach.

“Joining Pyry has changed [my training] massively,” added de Vries.

“I think that the importance of being physically prepared for Formula 1 is crucial. It’s not important, but it’s crucial, so I’m very happy that I have Pyry alongside me.

“He has a lot of knowledge and experience in the sport. He has been with the team for many years and he knows exactly what it takes and requires to be ready for Formula 1.

“I’m very happy that he can guide me and prepare me for that, and I fully trust him to do the job.”

When training, there is no physical regimen that can make the torture less painful. However, de Vries takes a bit of comfort from the fact that his dedicated coach shares the burden.

“I was going to say [Pyry] takes me through the pain but, actually, when we go through proper pain, we share it, which is very, very kind of him!” de Vries joked.

“Every painful interval session or every very heavy session we’ve had, we’ve definitely done together, so that’s been encouraging.

“But the preparation has been very different to any other season prior to this and, actually, I’m loving it.

“I love living like an athlete, putting the work [and] the time into our preparation and just giving everything we have to achieve the best possible outcome together.”

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De Vries forced to ‘massively’ change physical routine for F1

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