Williams’ Alex Albon has been ruled out of the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix weekend after coming down with appendicitis.
The Thai-British driver had been enjoying a solid weekend with the British side, ending 11th in first practice on Friday, before breaking into the top 10 in the second session.
Williams are expected to enjoy a strong, potentially points-scoring performance in Italy, so Albon’s absence will be a heart-wrencher for him and the team.
Nyck de Vries, who partook in FP1 on Friday with Aston Martin, is expected to take the 26-year-old’s place as Logan Sargeant, the team’s reserve driver, is already busy with his Formula 2 commitments this weekend.
Albon has scored all of Williams’ points so far this season, first finishing in the top 10 at the Australian Grand Prix, before finishing ninth in Miami.
The former Toro Rosso and Red Bull driver than scored in Belgium after fending off Lance Stroll in a heroic effort, and he made the second qualifying session in Zandvoort last weekend.
Monza is where Nicholas Latifi, Albon’s team-mate, had arguably one of his best weekends of the season in 2021, finishing 11th and narrowly missing out on points having scored in both Hungary and Belgium.
The Canadian will be hoping to go one better this year and break into the top 10, but he will not be doing so with Albon on the other side of the garage.
The 27-year-old has not shown his hand yet this weekend though, finishing 20th and 19th in the two sessions so far, heading into final practice on Saturday morning.
De Vries, for his part, was 19th in FP1 as he ran some experimental set-ups, and he finished the session just over a second adrift of Lance Stroll in a solid effort from the Dutchman.
The Former Formula E champion can use this weekend as a chance to impress Williams, and potentially audition for a seat next year in place of Latifi.