Nyck de Vries (NLD) Williams Racing Test Driver. 19.05.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Preparation Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images

De Vries replaces Pierre Gasly, who has been released from an ongoing contract to drive for Alpine next season.

The 27-year-old has put himself in a prime spot to one day potentially replace Sergio Perez and join his friend and countryman Max Verstappen in the Red Bull Racing line-up.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Scuderia AlphaTauri for 2023,” said de Vries, “and I want to thank both Red Bull and the team for giving me the opportunity to drive in F1.

“After F2, 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.”

Confirmation of de Vries’s long expected move to the Faenza outfit is the latest step in a spectacular career turnaround.

He was picked up as a McLaren junior driver when still in karting, where won the World Championship, and he enjoyed almost a decade of support before parting company with the Woking team after a disappointing 2018 season in F2 – although he still finished fourth overall behind George Russell, Lando Norris and Alex Albon.

De Vries bounced back to win the F2 title in 2019, before moving to Formula E, where he won the championship as a works Mercedes driver in his second season in 2020-21. In recent years he has also gained extensive experience of sportscar racing in LMP2 and Toyota reserve driver.

His Mercedes links created an F1 opportunity, and in 2022 he has conducted FP1 sessions for the works team, Williams and Aston Martin, while serving as a reserve driver for all three.

Even before a spectacular F1 debut at Monza last month – where he replaced the ill Alex Albon at Williams from FP3 and enjoyed a charging drive to ninth place in the race – he had emerged as a potential 2023 race driver, with interest from several teams.

He gained further F1 miles with a fourth car when he tested a 2021 Alpine in Budapest shortly after his Monza appearance. After any hopes of Colton Herta securing a superlicence faded, AlphaTauri became the most likely destination for de Vries.

It took several weeks to finalise the deal, as terms for Gasly’s exit and move to Alpine had to be agreed, while de Vries had to free himself from future WEC and Formula E commitments.

“Scuderia AlphaTauri had a very successful time with Pierre,” said AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost. “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.

“Now, we are pleased to start a new chapter with Nyck, 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.”

Red Bull’s decision to opt for him as a replacement for Gasly indicates that he is highly-regarded within the camp, as the stated role of AlphaTauri is to provide drivers for the senior RBR outfit.

His hiring also may cause questions to be asked about Red Bull’s junior programme, since he has been preferred to Liam Lawson, the man regarded as the next in line, and who has already done an FP1 session for AlphaTauri.


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