Nyck de Vries on his Formula E comeback, why Mahindra and what really goes on in drivers' group chats

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Nyck de Vries on his Formula E comeback, why Mahindra and what really goes on in drivers' group chats

The Season 7 Formula E World Champion makes his return to Formula E in Mexico City this weekend.


One of the biggest talking points ahead of Season 10, is the return of Nyck de Vries to Formula E. The Dutchman won the World Championship in Season 7, before departing the all-electric series for other motorsport adventures. 

The 28-year-old is back, and this season racing at Mahindra Racing. It’s a team that finished tenth last season, but is hoping to be back to their winning ways again. Catching up with Formula E ahead of his GEN3 race debut, de Vries speaks about his comeback, the expectations for the year ahead and what Mahindra will be working on most this season. 

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“There was clearly always an interest from my side to come back to Formula E, hence why I decided to travel to the last race of the championship in Season 9,” de Vries stated. He seems relaxed and ready for what the Mexico City E-Prix will throw at him, despite there inevitably being lots of eyes on him.

“I decided to fly out to London to be back in the paddock, meet old friends, and see what it's like again. That’s when Fred Bertrand [Mahindra CEO] and I kind of coincidentally bumped into each other. From that moment, we planned a call and he explained his plans and where the team is aiming to go. It really appealed to me and together overtime, obviously not overnight, it all developed quite naturally.”


Being away in F1, de Vries was understandably kept very busy. However, he still checked into the championship to see how it was progressing and how his racing mates would get on. 

“I was still in some group chats,” he jokes. “I am not active at all, in zero. But, I was picking up a little bit of feedback through these chats but eventually I got abandoned.” Not giving away who kicked him out the chats, he continued: “honesty, I have them all archived. But anyway, I stayed in touch with some of the drivers in the championship and we saw each other around. So I continued to follow Formula E.”

De Vries has had a first taste of the GEN3 car, after departing at the end of Season 8. As well as pre-season testing in Valencia, he and the team have had some private testing too. Racing alongside drivers who have a year of experience under their belts, it could take some time to get completely up to speed.


“I still have a bit of, I would say, catching up to do. I also still need to get used to everything a little bit more. Basically, I didn't drive a Formula E car for 12 months. The racing is very different. The car with the front motor, in terms of systems and in terms of the feeling you get when driving it is a bit different. So I still need a little bit more time to get up to speed with everything. But that's part of the process.” 

Mahindra will hope for bigger and better results this season, after their only silverware came in Mexico City thanks to Lucas di Grassi. The team have undergone a lot of change since the end of last season, including hiring Jérémy Colançon as their Performance Director. 

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“I think as a team, if we are able to continue to further improve on what has been learned last year, to gel everyone in the new structure, the processes and become a solid team and organisation in operation in terms of processes and execution, then that is already a good step. I think during race weekends, we just need to try and extract the maximum out of the package we have. That sounds simple, but that's a big challenge. That's what makes our job so exciting and interesting.”