AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost is refusing to dismiss the possibility of Nyck De Vries becoming team leader next season despite Yuki Tsunoda's greater F1 experience.
After a lengthy spell with Mercedes, most recently as a reserve driver, former F2 and Formula E champion De Vries will switch to AlphaTauri over the winter.
The 27-year-old Dutch driver replaces Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly to work alongside Japanese Tsunoda, who is five years younger.
Next season will be Tsunoda's third with the Faenza-based squad, and while De Vries will be an F1 rookie in comparison, his overall racing knowledge given the categories in which he has raced means he may take on the team leader role from Gasly.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko recently stated as such, with Tost not ruling out the prospect.
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Asked specifically whether that could happen, Tost replied: "This we'll see. Yuki has more Formula 1 experience. Nyck is a little bit older, has more race experience. He won many races and championships.
"The most important part is that we provide the drivers with a competitive car, and then it's easy for both of them to set up the car and to perform well.
"Who of these two drivers will be the faster? This we will see. I don't know yet.
"I’m looking forward because both of the drivers have a lot of potential. Both of the drivers are fast, and I think that we should have a successful season."
AlphaTauri building up De Vries contact
De Vries recently enjoyed his final outing for Mercedes in the first practice session ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix, at the end of which he thanked the team for all they had done for his career, as well as saying his goodbyes.
Tost has confirmed enjoying considerable contact with De Vries in recent weeks since the team confirmed his move as the two build up to next season's partnership.
"I have had a lot of contact with him," added Tost. "He was in Faenza, they made the seat and I also met him. We always have some chats together.
"It's very interesting, very important to know each other, and I want to integrate him into the team as fast as possible.
"He will do the young driver test for us in Abu Dhabi, where he can become more familiar with the car, with the team, and then we will see.
"We have a good programme for him during the winter months to prepare him in the best possible way for 2023."