Nyck de Vries does not believe Scuderia AlphaTauri will make a huge jump in performance in one update package during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, and instead they are likely to make smaller increments throughout the year.
After the opening three races of the season, de Vries is only of only two drivers on the grid yet to break into the top ten on race day alongside Williams Racing’s Logan Sargeant, with his best finish being fourteenth in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Team-mate Yuki Tsunoda has only scored one point thanks to tenth place in Australia, but de Vries has belief that AlphaTauri will make progress during the season, although a big jump in pace is not likely to come in a single update on the AT-04.
“I think the differences are quite subtle,” De Vries is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “And obviously, on this specific track, there’s actually not very much low speed.
“But certainly, all development on the car is very necessary because everyone is working hard. And I think that all the little things we are constantly bringing – it’s not like there is a game-changer, you’re not going from P15 to P8 – all the little details are making a difference.
“And constantly you’re searching and finding more, and then you find yourself hopefully close to the top 10. Obviously we are closely working together.
“We are a team, working together and addressing and highlighting potential areas we can improve, and I think it’s clear where we need to find performance. But equally it’s a moving target, and it’s all relative to competition, so it’s also never good enough.”
One of the updates AlphaTauri have already introduced is a new floor that came ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, and de Vries believes it helped them to close the gap on the midfield and a step in the right direction.
“I think it definitely helped us a little bit, being a little bit more competitive,” de Vries added. “It’s so tight in the midfield, a little difference, it can swing so quickly.
“So it definitely helped. And that’s encouraging. But we will need to continue to push the team to get close to the top 10.
“We will have a bit of time now to try and learn what we’ve brought and hopefully we can use that to our advantage going forward in bringing new updates and putting more development on the car.”