AlphaTauri explain why they signed Nyck de Vries instead of Mick Schumacher

Nyck de Vries has been announced as Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri replacement for 2023, with the Frenchman joining Alpine.

Following the announcement that Pierre Gasly is joining Alpine next season, AlphaTauri finally confirmed prior to FP3 at the Japanese Grand Prix that Mercedes reserve Nyck de Vries will be taking the Frenchman’s place next season.

The 2019 F2 World Champion and the season seven Formula E World Champion has been linked with a move to Formula 1 all season, with it initially looking like he’d replace Nicholas Latifi at Williams next season.

The Dutchman has unbelievably driven for three different teams during an FP1 session this season, a list which is made up of, Mercedes, Williams, and Aston Martin.

It’s somewhat comical that he hasn’t signed for any of them, and instead will be partnering Yuki Tsunoda next year.

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De Vries seemingly caught the eye of the Red Bull family following on from his last-minute debut at the Italian Grand Prix this year, where he replaced Alex Albon at Williams.

The reserve driver was called up to Williams prior to FP3 at Monza, after Albon was ruled out of the remainder of the GP after being diagnosed with appendicitis.

It was ridiculous to see the 27-year-old not only make it to Q2, but to claim a points finish during the race.

De Vries matched the team’s best result of the year so far, after claiming P9 at the ‘Temple of Speed’.

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AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost admitted that the Dutchman’s performance at Monza was “important” in their decision to pursue the driver, but not an “eye-opener”.

“This had a great influence, because it showed his potential,” said Tost.

“He drove a fantastic race, did not make any mistake, and therefore it was an easy decision to take him.

“Monza was important, but it was not an eye-opener, because Nyck was also on the radar before.

“With the special circumstances of other drivers leaving their teams, Red Bull also decided not to race with Pierre Gasly from 2024 onwards, all these components together brought us to the decision that Nyck de Vries is the best possibility and that he will fit quite well into the team.”

Mick Schumacher and IndyCar driver Colton Herta were both linked to the seat at times, with the latter proving impossible following the current FIA superlicence system.

Tost was asked why De Vries was chosen over others, with the boss explaining that he “knows” the talented driver’s “history”.

“Because he’s fast!” Tost exclaimed.

“I know his history, I saw him in karting, he won in 2010 and ‘11 the European and World championship in karting, and then he was really successful in all the categories he raced.

“He won Formula Renault [2.0], Formula 2, also in Formula E, and therefore I think he is a very high-skilled driver, and he deserves to be in Formula 1.

“We are really looking forward to having him in our car.”

Given how strong he was on his debut, despite little running in the FW44, it would be safe to assume that the Dutch driver will immediately be fast, something Tost is also anticipating.

“I expect that this learning period will be reduced to a couple of tests,” added the AlphaTauri boss.

“That means I expect him to be very competitive from the first race onwards in 2023.”

2022 has actually been a poor season for the Italians, who have taken a giant step backwards compared to their performance in recent years.

The Faenza-based side are currently occupying ninth in the Constructors’ Championship, making it difficult to set De Vries with any expectations for 2023 with it dependant on the “performance of the car”.

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

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“If we have a good car, it’s easy for both drivers. If we have problems with the car, then I think that it will not be so easy to sort out everything because Nyck hasn’t so much F1 experience, and Yuki is still in a learning process.

“I think that Yuki next year should be measured enough to give technical guidance.

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