Nyck de Vries lost the case. The verdict is not yet final, but if De Vries is unsuccessful in a potential appeal, the 2022 Italian Grand Prix will cost him dearly.
Motorsport is a very expensive business. Riders raise funds in various ways, including loans. De Vries loaned Jeroen Schothorst from Investrand in 2018 to continue racing in F2 with the Prema team.
It was agreed that if De Vries became an active F1 driver by 2022, Investrand would take 50% of his earnings for as long as he was racing at the highest level. If he didn’t make it to F1 by then, Investrand would write off the loan.
De Vries drove ten races for AlphaTauri last year. If it was just that, then he wouldn’t have to repay or pay anything. The deal called for him to make his F1 debut by 2022, and Investrand confirmed that he does not consider test drives for Mercedes to be racing, of course.
However, the 2022 Italian Grand Prix came and Alex Albon suffered from an appendix. Nyck De Vries got into the Williams car.
According to De Vries, it was just a stand-in, so the agreement does not cover it. Of course, Investrand sees it differently.
At the beginning of last year, the court found De Vries right. But Investrand now emphasizes that last year’s proceedings were primarily about obtaining information and the first step towards the main case, which was heard this week in an Amsterdam court. And according to Motorsport.com, De Vries lost.
The court confirmed that De Vries could not invoke his contract with Mercedes for testing, which would override the fact that he took part in the 2022 Italian Grand Prix as a racing driver on the date set by the original contract. He will therefore have to repay the €250,000 loan and interest along with half of his earnings from AlphaTauri in 2023.
“We supported Nyck at a key moment in his career when no one else wanted to,” Schothorst said, as quoted by Motorsport.com. “I am pleased that the judge has now ruled in our favour, although of course I regret that this procedure was necessary. We would prefer to reach an agreement without procedures through negotiations, but unfortunately our attempts to do so have been resolutely rejected by Nyck and his lawyer.”
De Vries’ lawyer confirmed that his client may appeal the decision.