De Vries is included in the F1 2023 driver line-up as a rookie representing AlphaTauri, the Red Bull sister team.

His parent team was Mercedes, where he won the Formula E title and impressed as a third driver. De Vries’ F1 debut for Williams, replacing the ill Alex Albon, drew widespread praise through the paddock and now he will be a regular fixture for Mercedes’ biggest rivals.

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“I thought about it,” Mercedes team principal Wolff told about bringing De Vries back in years to come.

But Wolff expressed his hope “that he stays there, and I hope that he’s successful in AlphaTauri.

“I hope he will be so good to make it into a Red Bull seat one day, because he deserves that.

“And then we take it like sportsmen, and we fight it out.”

Mercedes will eventually need to consider how to replace Lewis Hamilton but that day won’t come anytime soon - the seven-time champion is contracted for 2023 and plans to extend his deal further.

George Russell is also tied to the team long-term and, after winning his first grand prix in Brazil at the end of 2022, is likely to be a long-term fixture with Mercedes.

De Vries, then, had no chance of progressing through the Mercedes ranks to become part of their full-time driver pairing within the next few years so has opted to leave for AlphaTauri.

He is seen as one of the hottest new commodities in the sport and will be replacing Pierre Gasly, who has moved to Alpine.

The dream for De Vries could now switch to eventually earning a seat alongside fellow Dutchman Max Verstappen at Red Bull.

Sergio Perez is his current partner and Daniel Ricciardo is waiting in the wings as a third driver but the youthful and exciting De Vries would stake a claim if he shines in his rookie season.