Nyck de Vries ramps up preparations for AlphaTauri debut with Imola run

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 22: Nyck de Vries of Netherlands and Scuderia AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri's new recruit Nyck de Vries turned laps at a damp Imola circuit on Wednesday as he stepped up preparations for his full-time F1 debut.

The 27-year-old Dutchman, who made his race debut for Williams at Monza in 2022, joins AlphaTauri alongside Yuki Tsunoda this season – and continued his work to get up to speed for his first full season in the sport with some on-track running in the team's 2021 car.

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It's the second time he's taken the wheel of AlphaTauri machinery, having also driven the 2022 car at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi back in November when he notched up 152 laps.

And his training continued on Wednesday when he was back in the cockpit, this time in the 2021 AlphaTauri AT02, running laps at a damp-looking Imola circuit, which is local to the team's Faenza headquarters.

Tsunoda has also been racking up the winter miles, having driven the car on Tuesday, albeit in slightly less trciky conditions.

In a further sign the teams are beginning to ramp up as we get closer to the start of the new season, Ferrari were also busy on track, with Carlos Sainz driving an older-spec Ferrari SF-21 F1 car at Fiorano, with full wets tyres on the car.

The Spaniard completed 119 laps, equivalent to 354 kilometres, across the day, as Ferrari Driver Academy students Maya Weug and Arthur Leclerc observed proceedings from the garage. Charles Leclerc will be in the car on Thursday to bring the three-day event to a close.

But there is still some time to go before the action really kicks off. The teams will begin launching their new cars next week, before pre-season testing at the end of February, followed by the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on the first weekend in March.

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