Nyck de Vries will be a reserve driver at Mercedes from next season, the Formula 1 top team announced on Tuesday at the presentation of the new car.

The 26-year-old Dutchman will fulfill that role together with the Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne.

In December last year, at the end of the Formula 1 season, De Vries already tested on behalf of Mercedes in Abu Dhabi.

They were the first kilometers in a Formula 1 car for the former Formula 2 champion.

De Vries has been driving on behalf of Mercedes in Formula E since last season. In his debut season in the electric racing class, he finished eleventh.

The Frisian will also take part in the Formula E championship in 2021;

he takes the lead after the first race weekend.

His role as reserve driver at Mercedes means that De Vries will test more often for the top team.

In addition, he has a chance to fill in if world champion Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas has to miss a race for whatever reason, although George Russell of Williams seems to be the first candidate.

The talented Russell already replaced Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year, when the world champion had to be absent due to a corona infection.

Russell made a good impression in that race, even though he missed the victory in a dramatic way.

Mercedes hopes to win a new world title with Hamilton with the new car, the W12.

The Briton, who extended his contract after a long wait, is already at seven championships and is the eighth title record holder.

See also: This is what the Formula 1 cars of 2021 will look like