De Vries complaints a ‘wake-up call’ for AlphaTauri

Nyck de Vries' complaints about the AT03 was eye-opening for AlphaTauri

Nyck de Vries’ complaints about the AT03 was eye-opening for AlphaTauri

Nyck de Vries’ multiple team outings in F1 last season helped deliver what AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has suggested was a “wake-up call” for his engineers.

Given his reserve driver role with Mercedes, De Vries was fortunate enough to sample not only the W13 during a first practice session but also the Aston Martin and Williams given the two teams are power unit customers of the German manufacturer.

The 28-year-old Dutch driver also made his F1 weekend debut in Italy after Alex Albon sustained appendicitis, leading to De Vries finishing ninth in Monza, a result that played a key role in his move to AlphaTauri as a replacement for Pierre Gasly.

The switch also facilitated De Vries driving the AT03 for the Italian-based squad in the post-season test in Abu Dhabi and obtaining an understanding as to why the team finished a lowly ninth in the constructors’ standings.

The feedback proved crucial in the development of this season’s AT04 and the hoped-for improvements that have resulted in Tost targetting a top-six finish.

Reflecting on the crucial feedback from De Vries after the test, Tost said: “Always with a new driver coming in, if it’s not a young driver coming from a lower series, he brings some input, some technical ideas.

“With Nyck, we were lucky that last year he was in contact with many teams and many cars.

“Our engineers got good technical feedback, especially after the Abu Dhabi test, where he did a lot of laps.

“Fortunately, he complained a lot about the car which was a wake-up call for the engineers.

“I hope we can now provide him with a car that performs in the way he likes it.”

AlphaTauri see “big picture” from De Vries

De Vries is aware his feel of four different cars last year has allowed AlphaTauri to apply different thinking in addressing the issues with the AT03

“The most important is we are here to be competitive and we share a common goal,” said De Vries.

“It’s no secret the team had a tough year last year, and when I came in to Abu Dhabi, I had a kind of fresh opinion and read on where we are.

“Collectively, we tried really hard to address those areas during the winter and to work on them together. I’m definitely being heard.

“But it’s not like I’m a computer and I have all data in my hard drive but it (driving different cars) does bring a different perspective.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to see so many different teams.

“It’s not only about the feeling of a car because it’s quite specific in every condition, track and situation, but still, it gives kind of a big picture and that will help us to push everything forward.”

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