Nyck de Vries misses Jeddah FP3 with full power unit change at AlphaTauri

Henry Valantine
Nyck de Vries speaking to an engineer in the AlphaTauri garage. Bahrain February 2023

Nyck de Vries speaking to an engineer in the AlphaTauri garage. Bahrain February 2023

Nyck de Vries will head into qualifying in Saudi Arabia short on practice, with AlphaTauri forced to conduct an engine change on his AT04 during FP3.

The Dutchman confirmed an engine issue ruled him out of running during the third free practice session around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, and his AlphaTauri mechanics will be working hard to prepare his car in time for qualifying.

The team confirmed the news on social media, writing on Twitter: “Unfortunately, we’ve detected an issue on [De Vries’] car and we are now changing his PU.

“As a result, he won’t be participating in FP3.”

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With the new parts being on De Vries’ car coming from the permitted engine pool for the season, no penalty will be prompted as a result of his power unit swap.

This could spell bad news for the AlphaTauri driver, given he is the only member of the grid to have not driven on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in any category ahead of the weekend, with even fellow full rookies Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant having competed on the track in Formula 2 last season.

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Charles Leclerc already heads into the weekend with a 10-place grid penalty hanging over him at Ferrari, with a third Control Electronics unit being fitted on his SF-23 after the two allowed for the season failed for him in the season-opening weekend in Bahrain.