MONZA, Italy -- Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell praised Nyck de Vries after the Dutchman scored points on his Formula One debut for Williams at the Italian Grand Prix.
De Vries had a remarkable 72 hours in Monza. After taking part in Friday practice for Aston Martin, on Saturday morning he was drafted in to complete the race weekend with Williams after Alex Albon fell ill with appendicitis.
De Vries out-qualified teammate Nicholas Latifi, who he is in the running to replace for 2023, before finishing an impressive ninth on Sunday.
The ex-Formula 2 and Formula E champion started alongside fellow countryman Verstappen on the grid.
When asked about being part of an all-Dutch fourth row of the grid, race winner Verstappen said: "A bit unexpected, right! We joked about it last night. I know him very well, he's a great friend of mine."
Asked what he told De Vries before the race, Verstappen said: "First of all, enjoy it. Don't think about it too much, don't stress about it too much.
"I remember my first race, it happened so quickly everything and it's stressful. You shouldn't think about that and he handled everything really well."
Verstappen even got a chance to see De Vries fighting for position during the race.
"I saw him battling in front of me, when he was defending at the time 10th," he said.
"For Nyck to jump in and deliver this performance, it's not easy at all. I think he did a great job. In terms of defending, he just kept his cool, didn't make mistakes. To score points is impressive in your first race."
Seven-time world champion Hamilton found De Vries during interviews in the media pen and congratulated the Dutch driver.
De Vries drove for Mercedes in Friday practice at May's Spanish Grand Prix and has been in the role of reserve driver this season, something Hamilton has been hugely helpful for the team.
"Oh, incredibly happy for Nyck, and really proud of him," Hamilton told the media shortly afterwards. "He's such a good lad, a good human, he's been a good part of our team working with us.
"I hope Albon is OK, I know he's gone through a hard weekend, but for Nyck to have jumped in and finish in the top ten in his first race, that's mega for your first race since ages."
Hamilton's teammate Russell also praised De Vries' performance.
"He did an excellent job," Russell said. "Throughout all of our karting careers he was one of the best. There's no doubt he is deserving of a place in Formula One.
"There's 20 drivers, not everybody gets an opportunity, but certainly now he's proved everything he has to."
De Vries said he had a sleepless night before making his debut.
"The whole of the last 24 hours have just been a dream," he said on Sunday evening. "I didn't really have much time to think because everything was so rushed. I had such a bad sleep.
"I didn't even dare to look at my sleep tracking because basically I spent the whole night awake! But perhaps it helped me. I couldn't think and I just had to get on with the job. My start wasn't great but it was good enough to maintain position."
Asked about what Verstappen said to him, De Vries said: "He was kind! We had some messaging last night and even this morning.
"Even Lewis congratulated me. They've all been very supportive and very kind. Max just came to me and said 'you know what, it's going to be good, it's going to be fine. Just get through the start and you'll be good'".