It’s about a quarter of a million
(Motorsport-Total.com) – Formula 1 driver Nic de Vries is being sued by a Dutch real estate mogul. At issue is a €250,000 loan he took to support his youth career.
© Motorsport Pictures
Nyck de Vries kicked off his first full year in Formula 1 with a lawsuit
De Vries will drive full-time in Formula 1 with AlphaTauri this year, replacing Pierre Gasly, who in turn has switched to Team Alpin.
De Vries, at 27, is one of the oldest rookies in recent memory. He got into the cockpit after driving ninth in a Williams on his Formula One debut at Monza – as a replacement for Alex Albon, who was ill.
The loan served to strengthen de Vries
But now de Vries is being sued by Jeroen Schuthorst in a Dutch court. This alleges that the AlphaTauri pilot withheld information and breached agreements relating to the 2018 loan agreement.
De Vries closed it with Schothorst’s investment firm Investrand. According to the Dutch newspaper ‘FD’, he took out a €250,000 loan to secure a place with Prema in Formula 2 that year.
The agreement allegedly provided for an interest rate of three percent per annum and a share of future profits from his Formula 1 activities. It was also decided to forfeit the loan if de Vries did not drive in Formula 1 in 2022, the report said.
Schuthurst de Vries is now making allegations
De Vries paid €190,000 in interest, but as he did not have a Formula 1 contract for 2022 he assumed the loan would be written off under the agreement.
However, Schuthurst claimed in court this week that de Vries failed to provide required information about his earnings and contracts during the loan period. He is now demanding this information, including that of his Formula 1 contract with AlphaTauri.
Schuthorst also challenges the definition of de Vries’ role as a test-and-reserve in Formula 1 last year, when the 27-year-old was officially working for Mercedes, stepping in when needed for customer teams Williams and Aston Martin.
No bad blood, court process anyway
“First of all, I would like to say that I think it is great for Nick that he has achieved success as a Formula 1 driver and that there will be two Dutch drivers at the Dutch Grand Prix in August,” Schuthorst said in a statement. Presented to the Dutch media.
“We invested in De Vries’ career at a pivotal moment that nobody else wanted. We now have different opinions on how to interpret the agreement we had with each other at that time.”
“Things like that happen and unfortunately we have no choice but to take the matter to court. We would really have preferred it to go the other way, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that as a motorsports fan Nick wants all the best to wish for a sequel to his career.”
Schuthurst is said to have refused to pay
De Vries denies the allegations and maintains that he gave Schuthurst all necessary information about his contract. In addition, it was said that he was willing to pay him compensation.
De Telegraaf, quoting de Vries’ lawyer, Jeroen Biddo, reports that the Formula 1 driver has proposed repaying the €250,000 loan plus the €190,000 interest already paid. But Schuthurst rejected this proposal.
“Everything indicates that Investrand cannot accept de Vries becoming a Formula One driver in 2023 and not in the final year of the agreement,” Biddo said in court on Tuesday. Another factor was that de Vries politely declined Schuthurst’s offer to become his F1 director.
A ruling from the Amsterdam court is expected in early February.