Nyck de Vries was officially announced as AlphaTauri's driver from 2023 upon the departure of Pierre Gasly at the end of the season.
The Red Bull sister team has historically taken on drivers in the Red Bull Junior Driver programme, as was the case with Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda. But with De Vries they are doing things completely different, instead poaching him from main rivals Mercedes.
De Vries had already won the Formula E championship with the Silver Arrows and if you look at the range of teams that he has driven for in practice sessions in 2022, they are all Mercedes power unit customers.
This experience is something AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost hopes can be a strength for De Vries, as he expects him to hit the ground running from the start.
"I expect that this learning period for Nyck will be reduced to a couple of tests," Tost told media. "That means I expect him to be very competitive from the first race onwards in 2023."
Even though De Vries is still under contract with Mercedes, AlphaTauri is hopeful they can run him in the post-season Abu Dhabi Young Driver test.
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High expectations for 2023
With De Vries experience and Tsunoda entering his third full season in F1, there are big expectations from Tost that both drivers can provide feedback that improves their performance throughout 2023.
"The guidance of the team depends also on the performance of the car. If we have a good car, it's easy for both drivers," said Tost.
"If we have problems in the car, then I think that it will not be so easy to sort out everything, because Nyck hasn't so much Formula 1 experience.
"Yuki is still in a learning process – but I think that Yuki next year should be matured enough to give technical guidance.
"Nevertheless, I expect a lot from Nyck because he has experience from the racing categories where he won races and championships and therefore once more if the car works, I think that we will have a successful year."
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