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Alphatauri's Nyck de Vries with Franz Tost and Helmut Marko

AlphaTauri team principal explains his three-year rule for rookies

Franz Tost wants to give rookie drivers more time to settle in

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Franz Tost, team principal of AlphaTauri, explains why he believes rookies in Formula 1 need at least three years to show their full potential. 

Yuki Tsunoda and Michael Italiano
Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Scuderia AlphaTauri prepares to drive on the grid prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 07, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Image Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Although Tost will step down from his position at the end of the year, he can look back on a remarkable number of drivers who first started their Formula 1 career at AlphaTauri (formerly Toro Rosso).

AlphaTauri’s latest addition is Nyck de Vries, the Formula E champion of the 2019/2020 season, who currently seems to be struggling to transition to Formula 1. His teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, is now in his third season with the team from Faenza.

According to, Tost has enormous praise for Tsunoda’s development:

“Yuki is doing a really good job.

“You can see his learning curve is going up very good, I must say,” Tost explained.

But he also takes rookie de Vries in his stride.

“And Nyck, as I always say, if a rookie is coming to Formula One, he needs minimum three years to understand what’s going on here.”

“It’s as I always say [it’s] the learning process and the ‘crash period’ because if the drivers don’t crash, they don’t know the limit. This is a credit you must give them, otherwise it doesn’t work.

“There was no driver not crashing. I remember back to Sebastian, maybe in the first races came back in the first lap, most often without the front nose. It’s part of the game.”

What’s next for AlphaTauri?

Especially in Baku, the newly tested sprint weekend turned out to be an issue, as it left only one practice session available.

“We have free practice one and then you go into the qualifying,” the AlphaTauri team principal said. “And that’s problematic for the young drivers. For the rookies to get most out of the track, and of the tyres in the qualifying. That’s really a difficult exercise.”

However, Tsunoda brought home tenth place during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to earn a point. On the other hand, de Vries could not finish the Grand Prix after clipping the wall on lap 9.

Potential rumours are currently linking Daniel Ricciardo with the seat at AlphaTauri should de Vries not show improvement in the next few races.

Feature Image Credit: Peter Fox via Getty Images

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