De Vries was given the opportunity to drive Alex Albon’s Williams at Monza after the Anglo-Thai driver had to withdraw from the event with appendicitis.
Despite his limited experience with the FW44, the 27-year-old Dutch driver did not fail and enjoyed a great debut finishing ninth , thus scoring his first points in Formula 1.
The timing for Nyck de Vries’ debut could not have been more ideal, as it was clear that Colton Herta, Red Bull’s first choice to replace Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri, would not secure an FIA superlicense for 2023.
Following his display at the Italian Grand Prix, de Vries traveled to Austria to meet with Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko, where the first steps were taken to reach an agreement.
“That had a big influence, because it showed his potential,” Tost said of the Italian GP. “He had a fantastic race, he didn’t make any mistakes, and so it was an easy decision for us.”
“Monza was important, but it wasn’t like something new, because Nyck was already on our radar.”
“With the special circumstances of other drivers, Red Bull decided to let Pierre Gasly go and together we made the decision that Nyck de Vries was the best possibility, as he fits quite well with the team.
Explaining why de Vries attracted the interest of Red Bull , Tost said: “Because he’s fast! I know his story, I’ve seen him in karting, he won the 2010 and 2011 European and 2011 karting world championships, and then He did very well in all the categories he ran in.”
“He won Formula Renault [2.0], Formula 2, also in Formula E, and therefore I think he is a very capable driver, who deserves to be in Formula 1. We really want to see what he can do with our car”.
The AlphaTauri director believes that, given his experience, De Vries will catch up quickly in 2023: “I hope this learning period will be from a couple of tests. That means I really expect him to be very competitive from the first race in 2023. “.
Tost also admitted that despite being his first year, De Vries will have the opportunity to lead the team alongside Yuki Tsunoda, who will be heading into his third season at AlphaTauri.
“Who will be the team leader also depends on the performance of the car. If we have a good car it will be easy for both drivers. If we have problems then I think it will not be so easy to fix everything because Nyck doesn’t have that much experience in F1. and Yuki is still in an interesting learning process.”
“I think next year Yuki should be able enough to give technical guidance.”
“However, I expect a lot from Nyck because he has experience in other categories where he has won races and even championships, so if the car works I hope and trust we will have a successful year.”