De Vries gave 'wake-up call' to AlphaTauri engineers – Tost
AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost says F1 rookie Nyck de Vries’ good technical feedback has been a “wake up call” for the team’s engineers.
De Vries has joined the fray this season after his remarkable F1 debut at the Italian Grand Prix last season. The Dutchman was signed up by Red Bull to replace Pierre Gasly following the latter’s move to Alpine.
At 28, de Vries isn’t an F1 team’s typical young apprentice. But the 2021 Formula E World Champion, who also won the F2 championship in 2019, boasts a solid level of motorsport experience that Tost believes will greatly facilitate his driver’s adaptation to F1.
“Nyck de Vries is doing a really good job,” said Tost. “He is very experienced, you can see and feel that he is 28 years old, and that he won a lot of races and championships.
“And I think that he will be able to adapt to F1 immediately. I expect him to perform well from the first qualifying onwards.
“Of course, always when a new driver is coming, if it’s not a young driver coming from a lower series, he brings in some input, some technical ideas. And with Nyck we were lucky that last year he was in contact with many teams and many cars.
“And I think that our engineers got good technical feedback from his side, especially after the Abu Dhabi test where he did a lot of laps, and where he, fortunately, complained a lot about the car. Because this was a wake-up call for the engineers.
“And I hope that we can provide him with a car which performs in the way he likes it.”
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Last year, de Vries enjoyed FP1 outings with Mercedes and its affiliate teams, Williams, Aston Martin and McLaren. It gave him a diversity of knowledge and experience that he then put to good use once he settled at AlphaTauri.
In Abu Dhabi last November, Tost was actually happy with de Vries’ list of grievances regarding the team’s AT03.
“A long to-do list, I liked it!” recalled Tost. “And it was so funny, because the engineers wanted to argue that our solutions are good, and I always said to them, ‘Look where we are in the constructors’ championship.'”
Since, Tost has become more acquainted with his new driver’s personality, character and professional approach, and he likes what he’s seen so far.
“His professional attitude, his discipline, his feedback also regarding the simulator,” said Tost. “Ideas for changing working methods. And I expect a lot of input also after this test here from his side.
“He should not feel like a rookie. Because Nyck is, as I mentioned before, very experienced. He won races in every category, he won championships. And he is a really good asset for us.”
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