Well, he sort of said that, without necessarily using those exact words.
While De Vries was linked for a while with the second Williams seat alongside George Russell, he ultimately lost out with Williams instead opting to bring in reserve driver Robert Kubica to drive their second car and will remain in Formula 2 for 2019 with the ART Grand Prix team.
George Russell won the 2018 Formula 2 championship, with Lando Norris second, Alexander Albon third and De Vries finishing behind the Formula 1 bound threesome in fourth, despite winning more races than second place Norris.
De Vries said: “I don’t want to come across as arrogant but…”
[always a sure sign that whatever’s coming next is going to come across as arrogant]
“…Norris and Albon weren’t better than me in my eyes. Norris won just one race and Albon won four, and I won three.”
“If you look at it on surface level, I would’ve made the podium too with 10 points more, and I would’ve been in F1 now. But a ‘what-if’ like that doesn’t get you anything. The line between winning and losing is paper thin.”
Which slightly ignores the fact that teams don’t recruit drivers on results alone, and that Norris was contracted to drive for McLaren in 2019 long before the championship placings were decided.
Nevertheless, Formula 2 in 2018 featured a strong field made up of a number of potential Formula 1 World Champions, so to finish fourth is decent, if not startling.
Of George Russell, De Vries said: “He won the most races and really was the deserved winner.”
So with the most 2018 F2 wins (7), the title in his pocket and the plaudits from his peers, it looks like Williams have chosen the right guy to try and drive their FW42 to championship glory (a little ambitious??) in 2019.