Nyck de Vries stares at an ugly legal battle over the matter of a loan he took back in 2018.
De Vries Turned To Schothorst To Make His F1 Dream A Reality
Drivers down at Formula 2 often are left to fend for themselves when it comes to funding there seats. In 2018, Dutchman Nyck de Vries found himself in a similar position. He wanted to join the Formula 2 team, ‘Prema Power’. With the help of a bit of sponsorship, de Vries himself managed to deposit about €500,000. But a void of €250,000 remained. Adamant on making it to the big leagues, this is when the driver turned to real-estate millionaire Jeroen Schothorst.
The Dutch Financial Times reported that Schothorst and his investment firm (Investrand) agreed to fund the remaining 250,000 euros. But Schothorst set out a few conditionalities. The parties agreed that De Vries would have to repay the loan with 3% interest each year, if he reached Formula 1 by 2022. This interest would be in addition to Schothorst receiving 50% of his Formula 1 salary. A crucial aspect of the agreement stated that the loan would be waived off if the Dutchman failed to reach Formula 1 by 2022.
De Vries Rises Up The Ranks
Now, here’s where the confusion arises. De Vries rose up the ranks and caught the attention of many on the Formula 1 grid. He became Formula 2 Champion and Formula E Champion. Additionally, he became the reserve driver for numerous teams on the Formula 1 grid. He suddenly had to step up for Williams Racing as a last-minute replacement for Alex Albon at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix. With almost zero preparation, the 27-year-old secured an impressive 9th in his Formula 1 debut.
But the bottom-line was that DeVries still did not comprise a permanent seat in Formula 1 in 2022. Hence, he assumed the loan was waived off as per the initial agreement. Nyck de Vries deservedly signed with AlphaTauri for the 2023 season after it was revealed that Pierre Gasly would be making the move to Alpine. Also Read: Ferrari Announce Their Reserve Drivers For The 2023 Season
A Matter Of Ambiguity
There remains some ambiguity regarding de Vries’s stint as a reserve driver and what it means for the loan agreement. But Schothorst alleges that Nyck de Vries breached the loan agreement and withheld all the details of his contracts and earnings. If successful, there is a very real possibility that Schothorst will try to claim 50% of De Vries’ AlphaTauri salary.
It must be re-iterated that de Vries still paid back the loan amount with the agreed upon interest rates. Also Read: McLaren Don’t Expect Oscar Piastri To Follow The Ricciardo Downward Spiral
Lawyer Suspects A Bitter Motive
De Vries has denied these accusations and re-iterated that that he has been transparent with his earning details. The Dutchman’s lawyer, Jeroen Bedaux wasn’t so kind with his words. He stated, “Everything shows that Investrand cannot stomach the fact that De Vries became a Formula 1 driver in 2023 and not in the last year of the agreement.” Bedaux additionally feels that there’s a vengeful angle to this entire saga as De Vries had previously ‘politely refused’ Schothorst’s offer to become his Formula 1 manager.
An Amsterdam Court will preside over the matter in February. Also Read: Lewis Hamilton Set To Be Offered New Mercedes Contract
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