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AlphaTauri: De Vries has delivered on F1 development expectations

AlphaTauri Formula 1's tech chief Jody Egginton says Nyck De Vries has delivered on the team's expectation that his experience in other cars would help the squad steer development.

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

De Vries was brought in for the 2023 F1 season alongside Yuki Tsunoda to replace the experienced Pierre Gasly, who was tapped up by Alpine.

De Vries is an F1 rookie, with just one previous grand prix start to his name, when he stood in for the injured Alex Albon at last year's Italian Grand Prix.

Tsunoda, now in his third season, is the team's more experienced driver in F1 terms, but the Faenza squad still expected De Vries to make a significant contribution to car development thanks to his wealth of experience outside F1.

Between his 2019 Formula 2 championship crown and his belated F1 graduation, the 28-year-old excelled in sportscars and claimed a Formula E world title, while also spending time at Mercedes as its reserve driver.

De Vries has impressed the team with the scope of his feedback on the car, which has already stood AlphaTauri in good stead as it aims to improve after failing to hit some of its initial development targets with its 2023 challenger.

When asked by Autosport if De Vries had delivered on his development promise, AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton said: "Yes, I think he has.

"Nyck has got a lot of experience. He'd only done one race in Formula 1 before joining us, but he's got an awful lot of experience in other formulas and also experience testing and driving other people's F1 cars.

"And his feedback's good. He's forming a clear picture of what he wants from the car as he learns the car. And he's helping us move the development forward, so it's a big contribution already together with Yuki."

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

A first iteration of the AT04's floor design was delivered to the Australian Grand Prix, which the team said was the first of "five or six steps".

Egginton pointed out that the Dutchman has similar ideas of what the car needs compared to team-mate Tsunoda.

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That helps the under-pressure team define a development avenue as it looks to rise from its ninth place in the constructors' standings. AlphaTauri has scored just a solitary point so far in a competitive midfield.

"Both of the drivers have been quite clear on what the car is doing and what they want from it, and they're reasonably well-aligned as well," Egginton explained.

"That makes our development process slightly easier as we've got pretty common targets both sides of the garage.

"With this update we've bought to the track, both of them have experienced it and both of them have got similar feedback.

"On top of all the data we gather that's good as well because it means they're both seeing the benefit from it. So far, so good in that respect."

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