Nyck de Vries delivered the perfect audition for a full-time F1 drive at the Italian Grand Prix, but could still be overlooked by Williams for 2023.
Having driven for Aston Martin in free practice one at Monza, the Dutchman was called up to replace Alex Albon just 90 minutes before the final practice session after Williams' lead driver was diagnosed with appendicitis.
Despite such short preparation time, he went on to make Q2 and qualify 13th, which became eighth once grid penalties had been applied. He then finished a superb ninth in the race to pick up two points. De Vries was already a strong contender to replace Nicholas Latifi for 2023, with his performance at Monza seemingly strengthening his claims even further.
READ MORE: Damon Hill issues brutal Nicholas Latifi verdict as Nyck de Vries stars at Italian GP
There are order candidates for Latifi’s seat – Formula 2 driver Logan Sargent, a Williams reserve driver, and Mick Schumacher, who is widely expected to be dropped by Haas.
Dutch Grand Prix organiser and former F1 driver Jan Lammers suspects Williams have already made their decision for 2023, and that De Vries won’t be in the car.
“De Vries used to race against drivers like Charles Leclerc [in Formula 2] and he was not inferior to them,” Lammers told NOS. “It must have hurt to have to watch from the sidelines.
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“It wouldn’t be a surprise if he drives for Williams next year, as logic and common sense say Albon and De Vries would be a great combination. But I get the impression they already have a contract with someone else.”
If De Vries does miss out on a Williams seat, there could be an option elsewhere.
Alpine, still looking for a new driver after losing both Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri, have reportedly offered him a test in Hungary, where the Renault-backed team will assess several drivers, including IndyCar star Colton Herta and Formula 2 racer Jack Doohan.
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