F1 News: Helmut Marko says De Vries "should be team leader" at AlphaTauri – Sports Illustrated

Helmut Marko thinks very highly of Nyck de Vries.
Nyck de Vries has successfully muscled his way onto next year's F1 grid, securing a 2023 contract with Alpha Tauri following his impressive cameo appearance for Williams in Monza. 
The 27-year-old presented the solution to Alpha Tauri's driver dilemma, with Alpine's interest in Pierre Gasly pushing the team to find an adequate replacement for next season. 
De Vries' arrival creates an interesting dynamic at Alpha Tauri, with Yuki Tsunoda set to become the driver with the most F1 experience in the team. 
However, Helmut Marko has told nl.motorsport.com that he believes De Vries can take the role of team leader next season:
"Nyck may not be the youngest anymore, but he has gained a lot of experience. He had to work very hard to come back after that period with McLaren, and that shows that he is very determined. 
"He had to fight back after a kind of a break in his career means he can fight, and that's an important quality for us. 
"I was very impressed with his team radios when he got into Vettel's car [in Monza]. I listened to the radio, and the comments he made were very good. Before that race, Nyck was not on our first list, or shall I say not in the first place. But what we saw of him at Monza did change things…
"Yuki [Tsunoda] is still young and doesn't have that experience technically, so Nyck can lead the team. 
"We'll see how it goes next year in practice, but judging by his experiences and personality, Nyck should be the team leader."
These comments emphasise the importance next season holds for Tsunoda and De Vries, who will both look to establish themselves within the Italian squad. 
Red Bull's junior drivers in Formula 2 have been relatively uninspiring this year, best evidenced by Red Bull's decision to sign a driver from outside the academy to Alpha Tauri. 
But it seems unlikely this drought will continue for two years consecutively, with the likes of Ayumu Iwasa showing signs of potential in Formula 2 and capable of mounting a title charge in 2023. 
Tsunoda will be entering his third season in Formula 1 next year and so will need to showcase his development and prove to Red Bull that he is worth further investment. 
De Vries will also be under pressure next season, given that a season of underperformance could see him swiftly replaced by one of Red Bull's talents in Formula 2.
These two realities create a high-stakes environment for next year's battle between the Alpha Tauri's pairing.


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