Nyck de Vries says there hasn’t been any changes to the atmosphere at the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team after Franz Tost said he had “no trust” in its engineers.
The Red Bull sister squad has endured a challenging start to the 2023 campaign and has been competing towards the lower end of the grid.
The team was hopeful that it would take a step forward this year after finishing ninth in the Constructors’ standings last season.
Tost says that he was under the impression that the AT04 would be stronger than its early-season showings.
“I don’t trust them anymore,” Tost said in Jeddah last month, referring to his engineers.
“I just want to see the lap time because this is the only thing which counts.
“During the winter months they told me ‘the car is fantastic, we are making big progress’ then we come to Bahrain we are nowhere. What should I say?”
The comment surprised many, as it is rare for a team boss to publicly criticise members of its organisation.
But de Vries, who has joined AlphaTauri as a full-time driver for the 2023 campaign, says there are no overhanging concerns or bitterness within the team after Tost’s remark.
“I honestly think the vibe within the team is great and I felt no difference post certain comments that have been made,” de Vries said.
“I think things can be taken a little bit out of context and I think we were all kind of scratching our heads and we all want to be as quick as Red Bull that is currently winning and dominating.
“So we’re all trying to improve and work hard to make that progress and so are we and we are racers and we are passionate about what we do.
“But I felt no change within the ambience and atmosphere within the team. So I’m very happy where I am and I’m sure that we’re all very keen to continue to push forward.”
AlphaTauri scored its first points earlier this month at the Australian Grand Prix, with Yuki Tsunoda classifying in 10th place.