De Vries set to be AlphaTauri F1 team principal in 2023
After missing out on an F1 race following his 2019 FIA Formula 2 title, De Vries switched to Formula E and won the 2020-21 championship with Mercedes.
His world title, combined with Mercedes’ test and reserve driver duties, kept him on a late move to F1. Then, after a standout appearance for Williams at last month’s Italian Grand Prix, AlphaTauri offered the 27-year-old Dutchman a replacement for Alps-bound Pierre Gasly for 2023.
Despite being an F1 rookie and being placed alongside Yuki Tsunoda, who will have two full seasons under his belt by the start of next season, Red Bull driver mentor Helmut Marko thinks de Vries will be the de facto leader of the team from the start due to his vast experience in various disciplines.
“Yuki is young and doesn’t have that experience and background, so [Nyck] should lead the team,” Marko said. “We’ll see how it goes next year, but based on the experience and personality he has, he should be the team leader.
Marko believes De Vries’ experience driving Mercedes-powered teams, which includes Mercedes itself but also Williams and Aston Martin, will come in handy for AlphaTauri.
“Of course the team will benefit,” he added. “He’s a reserve driver for almost every Mercedes team on the grid and he’s been on various simulators, and we get this great experience on board.”
Nyck de Vries, Williams FW44
Photo by: Williams
Asked about Marko’s comments, De Vries remarked that he appreciated the “compliment” and said he was confident he could live up to the expectations of being a leader.
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” De Vries replied. “I don’t think you necessarily need F1 experience to be a leader, it comes with character, personality and how you are.
“Even though I may not have had a season, I still know what I need from the car, the package and the people around me to be successful together. I’m confident about that.”
Marko didn’t want to dwell on De Vries’ chances of one day forming a Dutch duo at Red Bull Racing with two-time world champion Max Verstappen, who had given his compatriot a good word with the Austrian to bring him in in the championship. Redbull family. Instead, Marko preferred to focus on delivering De Vries for AlphaTauri in 2023.
“As always for us, it’s all about performance,” explained Marko. “When people play, then you know how it goes…
“But we don’t plan for 2028 or if Nyck will ever be at Red Bull Racing, it’s just a matter of performance.”