AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has citied a lack of experience in Red Bull's Formula 1 junior programme as a major reason why Nyck De Vries was signed to replace Pierre Gasly. Alpine's driver search to replace Fernando Alonso eventually ended with its eyes set on luring Gasly from AlphaTauri to partner Esteban Ocon for 2023. However, Red Bull would not lose the senior driver from the sister team until a replacement was signed. They originally hoped to put IndyCar star Colton Herta in the seat, but his lack of superlicence points proved a stumbling block. In the end, Gasly was released to join Alpine as Nyck De Vries was drafted in Ito race alongside Yuki Tsunoda - ahead of Red Bull's junior drivers. And Team Principal Tost simply believes a lack of experience was why the team courted De Vries - although he has just one Grand Prix to his name.
AlphaTauri on Gasly replacement
2019 Formula 2 champion De Vries made his full-time F1 race debut in the Italian Grand Prix, driving for Williams as Alex Albon suffered appendicitis. He came home ninth in a solid showing, which prompted AlphaTauri to look at him as an option. Dutchman De Vries is the first driver signed to AlphaTauri/Toro Rosso who was not affiliated with Red Bull since Sebastien Bourdais back in 2007. "All the young drivers were taken into consideration," Tost told media including RacingNews365.com. "There's Liam Lawson, there's Ayumu Iwasa and Dennis Hauger in Formula 2 and Isack Hadjer in Formula 3, but they all still miss the experience needed. "They need to do a year or two more in their categories and then we will see what the future will be.
De Vries and Tsunoda
AlphaTauri has endured a difficult 2022 season, and have slipped down the pecking order - currently in ninth in the Constructors' as of the Japanese Grand Prix. However, Tost believes his 2023 line-up will work well, especially if the team can provide a good car in the AT04. "The gains 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 got so much Formula 1 experience. "Nyck and Yuki are still in a learning process but I think that Yuki next year should be mature enough to give or take 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."