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Marko: De Vries should be AlphaTauri F1's team leader in 2023

Red Bull's Helmut Marko believes AlphaTauri hire Nyck de Vries will be the team's leader from the start of his 2023 Formula 1 debut season, despite his rookie status.

Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

Motorsport.com / Japan

After missing out on an F1 drive following his 2019 FIA Formula 2 title, De Vries moved to Formula E and won the 2020-21 championship with Mercedes.

His world title, combined with Mercedes test and reserve driver duties, kept him in the frame for a belated F1 move. Then after a standout cameo for Williams at last month's Italian Grand Prix, AlphaTauri moved for the 27-year-old Dutchman to replace Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly for 2023.

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Despite being an F1 rookie and being slotted alongside Yuki Tsunoda, who will have two full seasons under his belt by the start of next season, Red Bull driver mentor Helmut Marko believes de Vries will be the team's de facto leader from the off due to his vast experience across various disciplines.

"Yuki is young and doesn’t have this experience and background, so [Nyck] should lead the team," Marko said.

"We will see how it goes next year, but from the experience and the personality he has, he should be the team leader."

Marko believes De Vries' experience driving for Mercedes-powered teams, which includes Mercedes itself but also Williams and Aston Martin, will be helpful for AlphaTauri.

"Of course, the team will benefit from that," he added.

"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."

Nyck de Vries, Williams FW44

Nyck de Vries, Williams FW44

Photo by: Williams

When asked about Marko's comments, De Vries remarked that he appreciated the "compliment" and said he was confident he could meet the expectations of being a leader.

"I'll take it as a compliment," De Vries replied.

"I don't think you necessarily need F1 experience to be a leader, that comes with character, personality and how you are.

"Even though I might not have done a season, I still know what I think I need from the car, the package and the people around me to achieve together. I'm confident about that."

Marko didn't want to expand on De Vries' chances of one day forming a Dutch duo at Red Bull Racing with two-time world champion Max Verstappen, who had put in a good word for his compatriot with the Austrian to bring him into the Red Bull family. Instead, Marko preferred to focus on De Vries delivering for AlphaTauri in 2023.

"As always for us it’s about performance," Marko explained.

"When people are performing, then you know how it goes...

"But we are not planning for 2028 or if Nyck will be at Red Bull Racing one day, it’s just about performance."

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