Japanese Grand Prix – Nyck de Vries will be joining the F1 grid full-time next year after signing a multi-year deal with AlphaTauri.
De Vries’ name has been thrown around a lot in relation to possible F1 drives over the past few years. The Dutch driver won the F2 Championship in 2019 before joining Mercedes both in F1 as one of their test drivers and, alongside their F1 reserve driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, in Formula E at the Mercedes-EQ Team.
In his second year in the series de Vries became the inaugural FE World Champion while Mercedes took the teams’ title, before helping the team retain the title while Vandoorne took the drivers’ laurels in the most recent season.
De Vries’ F1 duties had become much more visible this year with the 27-year old getting his first track action at a Grand Prix weekend back in May when he completed FP1 for Williams. He then also drove the opening practice for Mercedes in July and then had just ticked off his third session of the year, this time with Aston Martin, at Monza last month before being called into action for the remainder of the weekend when Alex Albon took ill with appendicitis.
With such a great opportunity to properly demonstrate his talent, de Vries made the absolute most of it, bringing Albon’s Williams home in P9, equalling the team’s best result of the year so far and most certainly pushing himself to the top end of the available driver list.
With Pierre Gasly keen to make the switch from AlphaTauri to Alpine and take over Fernando Alonso’s seat when the Spaniard moves to Aston Martin next year, and Red Bull’s first choice of Colton Herta not being available as he just fell short of the required superlicense points, de Vries was well in the picture and now has a freshly signed multi-year contract in hand.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Scuderia AlphaTauri for 2023” de Vries said, “and I want to thank both Red Bull and the team for giving me the opportunity to drive in F1.
“After Formula 2, I took a slightly different path with motorsport, but F1 has always been my dream and I’m grateful to be able to fulfil it. I’ve had a lot of chances to experience the 2022 car this year and I think that has put me in a great position for the upcoming season, I hope this has helped to prepare me for what is to come.
“Having spent most of my teenage years in Italy for karting, I’ve always felt at home there, so for me it’s great to be joining an Italian team, that already has a real family feel, and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and to start to build our relationship before the next season.”
De Vries’ new Team Principal, Franz Tost, welcomed him to the team and believes that, with his successes through the years, the Dutchman will be a good fit for F1 and AlphaTauri.
“We are pleased to start a new chapter with Nyck,” said Tost, “who’s very much welcome at Scuderia AlphaTauri. He is a very high skilled driver, as he won in all the categories he competed in, with many races and championships under his belt.
“His last big success was winning the Formula E World Championship, and this is clear evidence that he is a very competitive driver, who deserves a seat in F1. I am looking forward to seeing him in our car and I’m confident that with Yuki and Nyck we will have a very strong driver line up for 2023.”
Tost also wished his departing driver, Gasly, well and thanked him for all the effort and success he had brought to the team over their years together.
“Scuderia AlphaTauri had a very successful time with Pierre,” Tost added. “We will never forget his fantastic victory in Monza and his podium finishes in Brazil and Azerbaijan. I want to thank Pierre for all the effort he’s put into the team in the last years, and I wish him all the best for his future.”
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) October 8, 2022