Yuki Tsunoda has explained how his relationship with Nyck de Vries is "different" to that he shared with former teammate Pierre Gasly.
De Vries was handed his full-time F1 debut with AlphaTauri for 2023, with the Dutchman having previously won championships in Formula 2 and Formula E.
Tsunoda shared a close bond with Gasly, but the Japanese driver says that he is also getting on well with de Vries.
"It's good with Nyck," Tsunoda told the Beyond The Grid podcast.
"We were already friends before being together in a team. We are already friends from maybe three years ago. First time we met was on a flight to Monaco. I knew Nyck since karting.
"I'd seen from magazines that Nyck was winning a lot of championships, so I knew about him. But I never reached him, and the first time was from him, when I got pole position in Formula 2. He posted on Instagram and said congratulations.
"I didn't expect that and since then, I saw more about Nyck, and we talk a bit on Instagram. We were never able to speak in person until three years ago in Monaco."
Learning from de Vries
As well as getting to know de Vries, Tsunoda also feels that he is learning from him on track.
"At street circuits, he's always nailed getting very close to the wall, which I think he's got from Formula E," he explained.
"I'm also impressed with the feedback he gives the team. He’s really specific in giving us a lot of information about the car. I learned a lot from him and I'm still learning from him."
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Relationship with Gasly
Tsunoda admits that his relationship with de Vries is not quite like his "brotherly" bond with Gasly.
"It's definitely different. Pierre was more like a brother, just really fully open," Tsunoda said.
"Maybe sometimes it was too open. I just feel really, really comfortable with Pierre. With Nyck, we still have a good relationship. We joke with each other.
"I wouldn't say like a brother but he's a really, really good friend. I went with him for lunch, and we explored Melbourne.
"When [I see Gasly] at the track, we say hi. He's living in Milan, so any time I can text him and we can go for food."
On whether tension between teammates is good for bringing out the best in them, Tsunoda suggested that this is not the case.
"As soon as we wear the helmet, we're just rivals," the 22-year-old added.
"I don't think it's necessary to have tension between us. We're automatically going to be in the zone that teammates are one of the drivers we want to beat most.
"We're going to have that kind of mindset anyway. It's much easier to just be normal friends rather than 'driver friends'."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.