Jolyon Palmer: Alex Albon-Nyck de Vries ‘surely too appealing’ now for Williams
Jolyon Palmer believes a partnership of Alex Albon and Nyck de Vries will have become “too appealing” for Williams after the latter’s debut.
The Dutchman was a last-minute replacement for Albon after the Thai-British driver was unable to take part due of appendicitis.
Having been preparing for a day as part of TV coverage for F1, De Vries went from sipping coffee in the Mercedes motorhome to being in the Williams car for FP3.
He impressed in the afternoon’s qualifying and that performance continued into the race itself where he was able to defend well and secure himself F1 points at the first time of asking.
What the result also did was cast more doubt on the future of Nicholas Latifi with the Canadian being beaten by not only a less experienced driver, but one who was making his F1 debut and had spent the Friday in a different team’s car.
Palmer now believes that the combination of Albon and De Vries is too tempting to pass up as Williams look forward to 2023.
“Albon has been on average half a second faster than Latifi on Saturdays, so it wasn’t a complete shock that De Vries could be faster as well – Latifi has been particularly struggling in this generation of car,” he wrote for F1.com. “The way that the debutant managed through the race was what secured him the points.
“Alex Albon has been putting in stellar drives all season at Williams and De Vries’s Monza effort was Albon-esque in its delivery. Relatively understated, but by plugging away the result turned up at the end, made all the more impressive by it being a debut.
From a paddock coffee to points on debut just a day apart 💯#WeAreWiliams #ItalianGP
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) September 14, 2022
“Surely for Williams now, the prospect of having two potential point scorers will be too appealing to turn down for 2023. But it won’t just be them that are keen on De Vries’s signature now. The rise in fortunes for the former F2 champion couldn’t have been clearer after a wonderful cameo which showcased his ability.”
Still plenty of doors that could open for Nyck de Vries
As we head into the final six races, there are a good number of seats yet to be decided. Pierre Gasly has a contract at AlphaTauri until the end of 2023, but there has been substantial talk that he may be set for a move to Alpine.
If the Frenchman does not move, then that means the Alpine seat, which has been available since Fernando Alonso announced his upcoming Aston Martin move, to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel, could become a possibility for De Vries.
Latifi has a contract with Williams until the end of this season as does Mick Schumacher at Haas which means those drives are another two possibilities for De Vries.
Seemingly less likely but still not 100% confirmed is whether Zhou Guanyu will be staying at Alfa Romeo for 2023.