Nyck de Vries, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

De Vries to make F1 debut as substitute for Albon in Italian Grand Prix

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Nyck de Vries will make his Formula 1 debut this weekend as a substitute for Alexander Albon at Williams, the team have confirmed.

The team previously enlisted De Vries to drive their FW44 in the first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix in May as part of their obligation to run a junior driver. He has been recalled to stand in for Albon who is undergoing treatment for appendicitis in hospital.

“Williams Racing can confirm that, after feeling unwell this morning and seeking medical advice from the FIA and local hospital, Alex Albon is now undergoing treatment for appendicitis,” the team said in a statement.

“Following on from this, we can confirm that the team’s Reserve Driver Nyck de Vries will drive in place of Alex for the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix weekend. Alex is in good spirits and the team wishes him a speedy recovery.”

De Vries made his third appearance as a practice driver yesterday, for Aston Martin. He also drove for Mercedes in first practice for the French Grand Prix two months ago.

The 27-year-old from Sneek in the Netherlands won the Formula 2 championship in 2019, then moved into Formula E. He won that series for Mercedes in 2021, but the team pulled out of FE at the end of this season.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “De Vries to make F1 debut as substitute for Albon in Italian Grand Prix”

  1. Firstly, get well soon, Albon, but I thought De Vries was a ‘shared’ reserve only at Mercedes & Mclaren, but apparently across all Mercedes-powered teams.
    Nevertheless, a direct comparison between him & Goatifi will be interesting.
    Possibly the first time a driver has driven for two teams within a single event.

    1. I was going to say, how many drivers have had the privilege of driving for two teams over one weekend?!
      Are Aston Martin able to give Williams his seat container (drawing a mind blank to what the proper name is 🤣), as I assume Williams won’t carry around their version of the seat between every event? Or would that be a weird sort of parts sharing?

      Regardless, get well soon Alex!

      1. With how much freight the teams are carrying, I doubt leaving a seat at home for a reserve driver they know will be at the track is that big of an effort.

        1. Slrry, bringing it isn’t a big effort, leaving it at home would be foolish.

          1. But Nyck isn’t their official sub, I thought?
            I thought he was McLaren and Merc only, and that he’s got the spot because he’s already here for the weekend.

            That being said, can’t think of who Williams’ actual reserve is, so could be talking trash.

      2. I feel like someone else gas driven for two teams in a weekend, but I’m scratching at my brain to remember who!

    2. @jerejj “get well soon Albon” very naive comment there. We don’t know the official reason why he has been replaced, maybe his Thai (he changed his race licence from UK to Thailand to get Thai sponsorship in the first place..) sponsors are not paying up and defaulted on payments so the team puts in another driver until he pays up? This happened 2010 Singapore gp with Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto who ‘missed’ the race due to ‘illness’ but the real reason was his backers didn’t pay up.

      Latifi does not have this problem due to rich daddy but i hope DEV beats him on track to further prove what a waste of seat mobile chicane Latifi is and Williams are not a serious team selling race seats to the highest bidder

      1. I don’t care how Albon changed his license, but he IS Thai (which is obvious for anyone who’s ever seen him at least). I’m so sorry he dared to drive for his actual country, so you don’t get to see 50 British drivers in a single season.

  2. This weekend will make or break his career. Let’s see what he can do.

    1. For de Vries or Latifi?

      1. Isn’t Latifi (money) a sure thing no matter his performance?

        1. @Mayrton Not anymore these days.

    2. But he will have to impress in a Williams. Not an easy task

  3. Damn shame for Albon, I was looking forward to what he could do with the Williams this weekend especially with all the grid penalties coming, wish him a quick recovery.

    I don’t really know what to expect from de Vries, I never got the feeling that he’d be on F1’s top level (but Mercedes must have a good reason why they’re supportive of him so I might be wrong), but it’s lucky for him this chance comes on a weekend where he already drove FP1, if he can closely match Latifi I guess he’d stand a good chance of getting that seat next year.

  4. Calling it now.

    Latifi qualifies ahead, spins in the race and lets Nyck through, giving him 10th place and a point, putting him ahead of Latifi in the standings.

  5. Constantijn Blondel
    10th September 2022, 12:34

    Get well soon, Alex! And wise decision to check in and listen – appendicitis has the potential to become very nasty, very soon.

    And enjoy the porridge during the next couple of days ;)

  6. When an F1 driver has his appendix removed, is the operation performed like a pitstop, in under 3 seconds?
    At least Alex has weeks rather than days before the next race, if he needs them to recover.

    If Nyck’s up to the physical and mental demands of a Grand Prix (and Monza’s a relatively short one) he’s got an elevated grid position and a car he can compete in, not just trundle around near the back.

    1. If it is the Ferrari hospital you leave with 3 kidneys and a new gender!

  7. Suffering Williams Fan
    10th September 2022, 12:58

    Obviously wishing Alex a speedy recovery. A good opportunity for Nyck and obviously useful that he has actually had some track time this weekend, but switching to a different car (and I think he hasn’t driven the Williams since the concept change?) so late means I have pretty low expectations for both his and Williams chances this weekend. I’ll be very impressed if he gets out of Q1 and imagine both Williams will be last across the line on Sunday. I hope I’m wrong, but what looked like another promising weekend probably evaporated with Albon’s absence.

  8. Shame to miss Albon for this race given what he showed at Spa-Francorchamps in that Williams. But it’s a smart thing to prioritize as he has.

    Leaving aside the circumstances, it’s nice to see a new driver on the grid. F1’s grid is infamously stale, so hopefully De Vries can do a good job and show the ultra-conservative F1 bosses that there’s plenty of talent outside of F1 that could do just as well or even better than the same old, same old.

  9. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    10th September 2022, 13:30

    Fresh in the car, probably not even his own seat and de Vries is just a tenth behind Latifi, I expect de Vries to qualify ahead of Latifi and with that put the final nail into the coffin of Latifi’s career in F1.

  10. Williams going to extremes on the weight savings!
    (line stolen from a friend)

  11. I wish Nyck de Vries all the best for this weekend.

    So far he’s outqualified his team mate,

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