Franz Tost expects fast start from Nyck de Vries as AlphaTauri unveil car

AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has outlined his expectations for his team’s new driver, Nyck de Vries, as the Red Bull family squad unveiled their 2023 car this weekend.

The Italian-based team revealed their new car, the AT04, at a cool event during New York Fashion Week. This was part of a tie-in with the AlphaTauri clothing brand, which launched in the US.

For this year’s livery, Scuderia AlphaTauri have ventured towards a darker main colour. In a change from last season, the back of the AT04 is in navy, with white featuring along the nose. However, the big, white AlphaTauri logo still takes up most of the engine cover and sidepod on the car.

The biggest change that is obvious on the 2023 charger is the presence of splashes of red. These are due to their new sponsor, Orlen, who move across to AlphaTauri from Alfa Romeo. Red “Orlen” branding sits just in front of the sidepod, as well as on the halo.

In addition, the rear wing benefits from the introduction of the new sponsor’s colour.

But AlphaTauri don’t just have a new sponsor on their car this year. They also have a new driver in one of their seats. Team principal, Franz Tost, has outlined his hopes for Nyck de Vries in his debut season.

Tost’s aspirations for Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri

Speaking to his team’s website, Tost pointed to the Dutchman’s previous experience as an indicator of his ability.

“Nyck de Vries has driven only one Formula 1 race, where he produced a fantastic performance,” said the team principal. “Nevertheless, he has a great deal of racing experience, winning races and championships in many categories.

“Therefore, I’m quite sure that he will be able to deliver good results soon in the season, then be finishing in the points in the races.”

This is a daunting task for a driver who is entering his first full F1 campaign. Furthermore, AlphaTauri were not a regular point-scoring team last year, either.

Despite this, Franz Tost is fully supporting his new pilot, who will race alongside Yuki Tsunoda.

“Nyck is technically very highly skilled and focused,” he added. “When driving our car at the end of last season, he already gave the engineers good technical feedback. I think that he will immediately understand the new car.

“He’ll get familiar with it quickly and his feedback will be useful because he understands the technical challenges that F1 cars present. I believe he is one of the most adept drivers in terms of technical understanding of the car.”

The Dutchman clearly has the backing of his Team Principal, plus should receive some time to acclimate to F1.

But if his Grand Prix debut is anything to go by, De Vries may not even need it.

Nyck de Vries in 2022

De Vries was test and reserve driver for Mercedes throughout the 2022 season. However, due to Mercedes supplying engines to various teams, the Dutchman also drove for two other outfits in 2022.

Even more bizarrely, this occurred on the same weekend. In Free Practice 1 of the Italian Grand Prix, De Vries was behind the wheel of an Aston Martin. Then, after Alex Albon had to miss the whole weekend due to appendicitis, the 28-year-old ended up in a Williams.

Although it was his first full weekend of F1, Nyck de Vries was brilliant. He qualified 13th for the Grand Prix at Monza, beating teammate Nicholas Latifi. Following this, in the race, he delivered a ninth-place finish – scoring some rare points for Williams.

This put him on a number of teams radar for 2023 before De Vries settled at Red Bull’s junior team.

AlphaTauri will hope that the Dutchman can hit the ground running in their 2023 car, just as he did at Williams for that glorious weekend last September.