De Vries provided a «wake-up» call for AlphaTauri F1 team

Last season de Vries sampled the 2022 Williams, Mercedes and Aston Martin cars, and also completed some laps in a 2021 Alpine.

Tost says the Dutchman’s recent F1 mileage as well, as the overall experience that he has gained in other categories, enabled him to offer useful feedback when he tried the AlphaTauri at the Abu Dhabi test in November, in effect alerting the team to some of the shortcomings of the AT03.

«Nyck de Vries is doing a really good job,» said Tost. «He is very experienced, you can see and feel that he is 28 years old, and that he won a lot of races and championships.

«And I think that he will be able to adapt to F1 immediately. I expect him to perform well from the first qualifying onwards.

«Of course, always when a new driver is coming, if it’s not a young driver coming from a lower series, he brings in some input, some technical ideas. And with Nyck we were lucky that last year he was in contact with many teams and many cars.

«And I think that our engineers got good technical feedback from his side, especially after the Abu Dhabi test where he did a lot of laps, and where he, fortunately, complained a lot about the car. Because this was a wake-up call for the engineers.

«And I hope that we can provide him with a car which performs in the way he likes it.»

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Asked to expand on the results of de Vries’s contribution after the test, Tost said: «A long to-do list. I liked it! And it was so funny, because the engineers wanted to argue that our solutions are good, and I always said to them, ‘Look where we are in the constructors’ championship.'»

Tost also made it clear that he has already been impressed by the way de Vries works.

«His professional attitude, his discipline, his feedback also regarding the simulator. Ideas for changing working methods. And I expect a lot of input also after this test here from his side.

«He should not feel like a rookie. Because Nyck is, as I mentioned before, very experienced. He won races in every category, he won championships. And he is a really good asset for us.»

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AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton agreed that de Vries has already made a valuable contribution and he indicated that there’s more to come.

«What we’ve got in Nyck is a guy who although relatively new to F1 racing, who’s got an awful lot of experience and success in other championships, and has also been exposed to competitors’ cars,» said Egginton.

«So he’s got a lot of knowledge and a lot of information in there. It takes time to download all of that, so we’ve been taking all the opportunities possible, the engineers, to speak to him, and understand what his thoughts are, and just sort of download all that experience.

«Whereas if we’re dealing with a traditional young rookie driver, it’s a very different scenario. So for us, it’s a fantastic opportunity.»

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