AlphaTauri boss disagrees with Helmut Marko over Yuki Tsunoda

Nyck de Vries will partner Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri next season in what will be his rookie season in Formula 1.

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has offered a differing opinion to Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko, in regard to who will lead the Faenza-based team in 2023.

Marko stated that he thinks the newly signed Nyck de Vries can instantly take Pierre Gasly’s place as the team leader next year, due to his wealth of experience.

By a rookie’s standards, De Vries is possibly the most experienced the sport has seen in the modern history of F1.

This is due to the Dutchman being on the older side of things, in regard to being a rookie at least.

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At 27 years of age, he is one of the oldest rookies in recent Formula 1 history, something that could massively play in his favour.

De Vries is the 2019 Formula 2 World Champion and the Season Seven Formula E World Champion, meaning he’s no risky signing.

This was proven at the Italian Grand Prix, where he stood in for Alex Albon for FP3, qualifying, and the race.

The Mercedes reserve driver not only made it to Q2, but he also matched Williams’ best result of the season after finishing ninth.

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This caught AlphaTauri’s attention, with the rest being history.

Being an older rookie, though, means he needs to perform straight away, as it’ll be interesting to see if the Italians will keep hold of him if he underperforms.

Tsunoda is entering his third season in the sport next year and is still only 22, highlighting that youth is on his side.

Tsunoda has been incredibly temperamental since his rookie season last year; however, Tost thinks he has “matured enough” to come out of Gasly’s shadow and lead the team.

“The guidance of the team depends also on the performance of the car,” Tost said.

“If we have a good car, it’s easy for both drivers.

“If we have problems in the car, then I think that it will not be so easy to sort out everything, because Nyck hasn’t so much Formula 1 experience, Yuki is still in a learning process – but I think that Yuki next year should be matured enough to give technical guidance.

“Nevertheless, I expect a lot from Nyck because he has experience from the racing categories where he won races and championships and therefore once more if the car works, I think that we will have a successful year.”

The Japanese driver has proven he is considerably fast; however, he does make errors far too often.

If he can iron his errors out in his third season, then there would be a sensible argument to have regarding if he can replace Sergio Pérez at Red Bull, once the Mexican leaves either the team or the sport.

On the other hand, should Tsunoda be beaten by De Vries next season, then it could spell the end of his eventful F1 career.

Tost does think Tsunoda is making “good steps” and has “fantastic natural speed”, but that he still needs to work on his “discipline”.

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“Yuki is making good steps but of course, he has to work a little bit on his discipline but I’m very confident that Yuki will come up with a really good performance,” he said.

“He showed us, here in Suzuka, because he was out the first time with the Formula 1 car and he has fantastic natural speed, and all the other components we will get under control.

“Therefore, I’m convinced that Yuki will have a successful future, that next year together with Nyck, we will have a strong team.”