As the motive force carousel for the 2022 Formula 1 season within the Alps unfolds within the authorized battle surrounding Oscar Piastri, Williams introduced Alexander Albon as its first driver for 2023 on Wednesday.
But who will take second place on Team Grove? For a very long time, Oscar Piastri was thought-about the favourite to hitch the “fixer” staff, however with the occasions of the previous few days, that possibility appears to be historical past. Depending on how the farce across the younger expertise seems, he’ll find yourself in Alpine or McLaren. Who can counsel a second Williams as an alternative?
Formula 1 2023: Williams contenders all have one imaginative and prescient
Nicholas Latifi: Of course, the pilot at the moment manning the Williams cockpit ought to be talked about first on this article. Nicolas Latifi isn’t thought-about a very proficient driver and his ends in his Formula 1 profession emphasize this. He didn’t see a single cap in opposition to George Russell for 2 years, main the qualifiers solely as soon as and scoring solely twice.
In a direct battle in opposition to Alexander Albon, the state of affairs will not enhance in 2022 both. Its lead-to-turn hole averages six tenths. However, Latifi was capable of erase the collection of errors and crashes from the start of the season within the final Grand Prix race. Nevertheless, Latifi stays a salaryman. The huge query at Williams is whether or not Williams can and will share the cash the Latifi household has poured into the staff’s coffers.
Nick De Vries: Formula 2 champion and Formula E world champion. Nick De Vries’ resume reads like a thick software letter for a freshman. In Williams, he has been marketed as a scorching candidate in current months. De Vries was rumored to be becoming a member of Formula 1 final season, however ultimately Williams opted for Albon. Things are completely different this yr: Mercedes will withdraw from the electrical collection on the finish of the present FE season, and the way forward for the Dutchman remains to be open.
In addition to his Formula E commitments and his take a look at and reserve driver place at Mercedes, De Vries accomplished two coaching periods this season in France for the Silver Arrows and in Barcelona for Williams. So what may be extra logical than the 27-year-old becoming a member of Mercedes’ buyer staff in Formula 1 with the backing of the Silver Arrows?
Whether he will get that assist or not appears uncertain now. Because on the final FE race weekend in London, De Vries dropped down the pecking order and was denied an opportunity to overhaul world championship chief Stoffel Vandoorne. The 27-year-old athlete has additionally been concerned in quite a few incidents in Formula E 2022 and has been penalized a number of instances. With two races to go, he’s solely P8 within the championship. Will that persuade Williams? Currently, De Vries FE trades with newcomer Maserati.
Logan Sargent: Williams also can select a successor to Nicolas Latifi from his junior staff. Above all else, Logan Sargeant stands out. After three good-to-good however lower than spectacular years in Formula 3, the American has been one of many huge surprises of the present Formula 2 season. No one thought he was a newcomer. But over the course of the season, he has already secured two wins (every in the principle race) and two pole positions. It is at the moment in third place within the championship.
What distinguishes the junior driver is his clear driving fashion: in 2021 and throughout the season to this point, he has not obtained a single penalty, which is a pure factor in turbulent and heated junior formulation. “I’m assured that Logan will be in Formula 1 sooner or later,” mentioned Williams boss Jost Capito. Whether he will get promoted in 2023 or not, he is all-star for now. At his house GP within the US, Sargeant will certainly participate within the first free follow session for Williams.
Mike Schumacher: Will Haas supply Mick a contract extension? If so, then the Williams chapter ought to certainly be over. Because there is no such thing as a cause to imagine that Schumacher will change to Grove on his personal. However, if Schumacher doesn’t renew at Haas, he would be a logical candidate for Williams.
He has two years of Formula 1 expertise and the training curve can be pointing in the precise path. The solely query is whether or not he can stay a Ferrari junior after that. In 2022, Williams additionally agreed with Red Bull driver Albon, and within the brief to medium time period, Ferrari transferring Schumacher isn’t life like anyway.
Daniel Ricardo: The similar goes for Ricciardo and Schumacher: Williams would be the final resort if he wasn’t provided one other contract. Despite all of the denials, all the pieces in the mean time factors to the departure of McLaren, primarily the Piastri employees. He may be very standard with Alpi, who’re on the lookout for a second driver after the departure of Alonso and (in all probability) Piastri. A return to his outdated job on the Renault model is a logical possibility, with Williams unlikely to alter.
Felipe Drugovic: The Brazilian has been on prime kind within the 2022 Formula 2 season and at the moment leads the championship. Nevertheless, his title is never talked about in terms of Formula 1 cockpits. Drugovic has no ties to the first-class groups and has but to achieve any expertise with Formula 1 vehicles.
His performances within the junior lessons have been good, however it’s unlikely that he will win the Formula 2 title in his third yr for Formula 1 groups. While the Brazilian is attempting to determine himself as a Formula 1 contender, he’s a transparent outsider at finest. A transfer to IndyCar is now thought-about probably, the place it is extremely standard with some groups.