Nyck de Vries spoke of his new AlphaTauri teammate for the 2023 Formula 1 season, Yuki Tsunoda, an entertaining young guy, whom he always supported.
De Vries will make his full-time F1 debut with AlphaTauri in 2023, after the team signed him up to replace Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly.
The Dutchman made a good case for himself at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, where he deputized for the ill Alex Albon at Williams, making it into Q2 in qualifying and finishing the race ninth, scoring points from the first time of asking.
At AlphaTauri, he will the share the garage in 2023 with Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda who will be starting his third season in F1 and the team.
Speaking in the Beyond The Grid podcast, De Vries was asked about his thoughts of his new teammate, he said: “When he was in Formula 2, I was one of his biggest supporters. He’s obviously an entertaining young guy and he’s not afraid to speak his opinion. I enjoy watching him.
“He’s very talented and very quick. I’m sure we’ll have a great time together and I look forward to be joining him. It’ll be the first time in my career I’ll have a smaller team mate than me, but we still have the same shoe size!” the 27-year-old joked.
The teammates already bonding
“We did some bonding already, I think two years ago,” he revealed. “We travelled with Max [Verstappen] once from Austria. They had a marketing event near the track at the Red Bull Ring and I was there for a [European] Le Mans race. We were travelling back together to Monaco, ahead of the Grand Prix, so we did some bonding together.”
Driving for Faenze-based AlphaTauri means a move to Italy, something De Vries is excited about, as he also believes the team has potential if they make good use of their resources and their “sister status” with Champions Red Bull Racing.
He commented: “AlphaTauri is a sister team from Red Bull, they share a lot of knowledge and resources, so I think the package and the team has a lot of potential if we use those resources to our benefit.
“The team is based in Italy,” he added. “I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy during my karting time, so it just feels like a very welcoming and nice environment.
“I really believe we can do great things together, but it will require a good winter preparation together to get on top of things, and then we’ll give everything we have to achieve the best we can,” De Vries concluded.