Nyck de Vries speaks about the time spent with Yuki Tsunoda few years back and hoe he is looking forward to racing with/against him in F1 2023.
Considering their path and age, de Vries and Tsunoda have never come across each other on the circuit at the same time. Last year at Monza, it was the first time for both when he Dutchman made his F1 debut with Williams, while the Japanese was with AlphaTauri.
But now, they will work together and also against each other at AlphaTauri for the 2023 F1 season. While it is an important year for de Vries getting his first full-time break, it is more for Tsunoda who will start his third season with knife hanging on his head.
It hasn’t been the smoothest running for Tsunoda after a solid rookie F2 season. The F1 step has been hard and although 2022 was a bit better, the results did not come albeit the car wasn’t top notch either. For 2023, he will again have a stiff teammate.
Even though de Vries is a relatively newcomer but the Dutchman has good experience and already has titles in F2 and Formula E. So far, it has only been handful of times that they have got the chance to bond, but the Dutch driver only has good words for Tsunoda.
“When he was in Formula 2, I was one of his biggest supporters,” said de Vries on F1 podcast. “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,” joked de Vries, while recalling the time they spent together once.
“We did some bonding already, I think two years ago,” he recalled. “We travelled with Max 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,” summed up de Vries. It will be an interesting pair where both are relatively young but both have a task cut out especially with a Red Bull seat always in reckoning. Before that, they will have to work together to help AlphaTauri.
After an average 2022, the team is eyeing a midfield return and de Vries reckons the partnership with Red Bull will help them. “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,” he said.
“The team is based in Italy. 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,” summed up de Vries.
Here’s Nyck de Vries in a court case
Here’s Franz Tost on AlphaTauri’s leader situation
Here’s Yuki Tsunoda on feeling more relaxed in 2022
Here’s Franz Tost on hiring Nyck de Vries