AlphaTauri set clear target for De Vries as Dutchman gets ready to ‘live the dream’ in F1
Nyck de Vries should be primed to score points from the early stages of his rookie F1 season and build on a “fantastic” one-off performance in 2022, according to AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost.
De Vries steps up to F1 full-time with Tost’s squad for 2023 after an impressive points-scoring debut at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, where he stepped in for unwell Williams driver Alex Albon.
Assessing his new signing’s potential after the launch of AlphaTauri’s livery for their new AT04 contender, Tost said: “Nyck has driven in only one Formula 1 race, last year in Monza, where he produced a fantastic performance.
“Nevertheless, he has a great deal of racing experience, winning races and championships in many of the categories that he took part in. Therefore, I’m quite sure that he will be able to deliver good results soon in the season, then to be finishing in the points in the races.”
As for how he expects his new signing to deal with the demands of car development across a full campaign, Tost argued: “Nyck is technically very highly-skilled and focused. When driving our car at the Abu Dhabi young driver test at the end of last season, he already gave the engineers good technical feedback.
“I think that he will immediately understand the new car. He will get familiar with the car quickly and his feedback will be useful because, as I said before, he understands the technical challenges that Formula 1 cars present. I believe he is one of the most adept drivers in terms of technical understanding of the car.”
De Vries, meanwhile, expressed his enthusiasm to get going after a prolonged route to F1 that sees him arrive on the grid full-time at the age of 28, and with a wealth of motorsport experience beneath him – spanning single-seaters and endurance racing.
Asked what he is most looking forward to in his rookie F1 campaign, the former F2 and Formula E champion said: “First of all, to get the opportunity to live my dream, but equally to be very excited and motivated to perform and to deliver.
“I think partly because my journey has been slightly unusual and longer, I’m even more grateful for the opportunity, more motivated to grab it and hungrier to show what I’m worth.”
Despite his previous F1 experience, he continued: “I would say I’m still a rookie. Of course, I had the privilege of driving many different cars, but I think the benefits of that are not so much down to the track time, because actually that was very limited.
“I think having experience to have worked with different teams in different environments will bring a lot of value, but in terms of pure track and race time, I reckon I have less than this year’s other rookies [McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, 21, and Williams’ Logan Sargeant, 22].
“However, I am a bit older and I’ve had the opportunity to race in different championships so that is a level of experience that brings some value.”
De Vries will spend his rookie F1 season alongside Yuki Tsunoda, with the pair aiming to lift AlphaTauri from P9 and the penultimate spot in the 2022 constructors’ standings.