“He should be the team leader,” Helmut Marko puts the impetus on Nyck de Vries to lead AlphaTauri

“He should be the team leader,” Helmut Marko puts the impetus on Nyck de Vries to lead AlphaTauri

Nyck de Vries (IMAGO / HochZwei)

Nyck de Vries will be 28 before the next season starts, which is older than what you would expect from a driver at AlphaTauri, and especially one who is just making his ‘regular’ debut. But he also does have quite a bit of experience – he won Formula E with Mercedes in 2020-21, and is a Formula 2 champion as well.

He was linked with Williams, but his move to AlphaTauri came about in incredibly unlikely circumstances. He replaced Alex Albon in Monza, where he finished P9. This put him on Red Bull’s radar. While their favourite seemed to be Colton Herta, the American could not get a super license exemption. So as Pierre Gasly moved to Alpine, de Vries was called in to replace him.

He will partner Yuki Tsunoda, who will be in his third season in Formula 1. On the other hand, de Vries will technically be a rookie. Despite this, he is significantly older and is even a world champion in Formula E. Citing this, Helmut Marko wants him to lead the team.

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Helmut Marko: The team will benefit from Nyck de Vries’ experience

Nyck De Vries
Nyck De Vries

Yuki Tsunoda is fast, and he has performed better compared to last year as he’s gotten better used to Formula 1. This will be Nyck de Vries first time having a regular seat in Formula 1, but it’s clear that he will need to be at his best. It’s a hot seat – if he does not perform well enough, the team have other options. Red Bull juniors Dennis Hauger and Liam Lawson, both currently in F2, are among them.

As per Motorsport.com, Helmut Marko says that it should be de Vries who leads AlphaTauri next year: “Yuki is young and doesn’t have this experience and background, so [Nyck] should lead the team. We will see how it goes next year, but from the experience and the personality he has, he should be the team leader.”

Even if de Vries is a ‘rookie’ he has plenty of experience driving an F1 car. In Monza, before his race run, he drove for Aston Martin in FP1, and has had two earlier FP1 sessions as well, apart from being Mercedes’ reserve driver: “Of course, the team will benefit from that. He is reserve driver for nearly every Mercedes team on the grid and he has been in various simulators, and we get this kind experience onboard.”

It is a great opportunity for Nyck de Vries, but it won’t be an easy task to beat Yuki Tsunoda in his first season. The Japanese driver has much more regular Formula 1 experience than the Dutchman, even if he is younger. It will be interesting to see how de Vries matches up.

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