Following the expected announcement that Nicholas Latifi and Williams will be parting ways at the end of the season, the British side now have the exciting chance of choosing his replacement to partner Alex Albon in 2023.
A number of drivers have been linked to the Canadian’s seat, none more so than Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries and Williams Academy driver Logan Sargeant; however, some new names have been thrown into the frame.
It should come as no shock that De Vries is the favourite amongst fans to replace Latifi, especially after he matched the team’s best result of the season so far on his debut at the Italian Grand Prix.
The Dutchman was called up prior to FP3 to replace Alex Albon, who was ruled out for the remainder of the weekend following an appendicitis diagnosis.
The season seven Formula E World Champion adjusted better to the FW44 than anybody could’ve foreseen; he looked fast, calm, but most importantly, confident, something Latifi has lacked all year.
The Dutchman not only made a shock Q2 appearance, he also finished nicely in the points, crossing the line at Monza in P9.
However, following his debut glory he’s caught the attention of other teams, most notably, AlphaTauri.
It’s believed that should Pierre Gasly move to Alpine as planned, then De Vries will replace the Frenchman alongside Yuki Tsunoda.
De Vries has already met with Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko, hinting that a deal is further along the line than possibly predicted.
According to a recent vote by GPFans, following the 58 percent who think De Vries is Williams’ preferred option, outgoing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo is tipped by readers as the second favourite to replace Latifi with 22 percent of the vote.
This option is slightly harder to see coming to fruition, given the fact Ricciardo is wanting to move up the field, not backwards.
A move to Williams would arguably mean battling in the bottom quarter of the grid most weekends, with the odd opportunity for a points finish.
Haas appears to be the Aussie’s best option; however, given how many votes he received in this poll, it’s clear that fans aren’t yet ready to say goodbye to the Honey Badger.
Sargeant is third on 13 percent but is seen by many as the favourite to replace Latifi should De Vries go to AlphaTauri.
The American F2 driver would most likely have received more votes if he held a current superlicence with enough points on it to race in F1, something he currently doesn’t have.
He is on track for this due to sitting third in the Drivers’ Championship, with the young driver needing to finish in the top six to gain the necessary points.
This would not only see an exciting young rookie in the Williams but would also see the American fans have a home driver to support at all three races in the United States next season, something which would be financially beneficial to the 10th placed team.
Current Aston Martin reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg is an outsider for the seat but is also a possible target for Haas.
The German brings a wealth of experience but hasn’t completed a full season since 2019, whilst this isn’t likely to be an issue, it could potentially be a stumbling block.
Williams reserve driver Jack Aitken received just one percent of the vote and hasn’t been linked to the vacant seat.