Incoming AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries has provided an insight into the dynamic between himself and reigning World Champion Max Verstappen. After a successful audition at the 2022 Italian GP, De Vries secured his first full-time F1 race seat with AlphaTauri, and will drive alongside Yuki Tsunoda this season. The Dutchman was previously unaffiliated with the Red Bull junior team, having previously been Mercedes test and reserve driver. His points-scoring debut at Monza was enough for compatriot Verstappen, among others, to publicly back De Vries for a 2023 seat. The 2023 season will be the first time two Dutchmen have competed on the same F1 grid since 2006, when Robert Doornbos raced for Red Bull and Christijan Albers drove for Midland.
De Vries on 'great' relationship with Verstappen
In a media session with AlphaTauri ahead of the 2023 season, De Vries was asked about his friendship with Verstappen, with rookie driver speaking about their similarities and how he sees the two-time champion as an 'older brother' figure. "Max and I have known each other since a very young age, as we grew up karting at a similar time, although we’ve never actually raced against each other," said De Vries. "The first time we actually raced together was in Monza last year, and we happened to be next to each other on the grid, so that was amazing. "We have a great relationship, the way we grew up in racing, with our fathers being very involved and karting through Europe has been very similar and we have a great respect for each other. We’re obviously from the same country, speak the same language and we just get along. "Despite the fact that I’m older, it almost feels like Max is my big brother within the Formula 1 paddock, he’s obviously achieved a lot and has so much experience already."