Alexander Albon had to say goodbye to the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday morning due to appendicitis which required urgent intervention. Nyck de Vries got behind the wheel of his Williams FW44 and made a strong impression.
The 27-year-old Dutch driver finished 13th in the standings, ahead of Nicholas Latifi, but moved up to eighth on the starting grid due to various penalties from his rivals and finished the race in ninth position, adding two very valuable points.
De Vries’ adventure in Formula 1, for the moment, seems to be limited to just that race, as Albon remains the starting driver and hopes to be back for the Singapore Grand Prix, which takes place in two weekends.
“I feel pretty good,” Albon said in a video he posted on social media. “Of course, I had a ‘little’ problem on Saturday, but the doctors did a great job. I am very grateful for all their work, I was able to leave the hospital on Tuesday and have since returned to Monaco.”
“The goal is to be ready for Singapore. It’s difficult, because it’s one of the toughest races. So obviously it won’t be easy, but I want to aim high and we’ll see what happens. Thanks for all the messages and support I’ve received. It means a lot to me. I’ve read as many as I can. I hope to be back in Singapore.”
After his performance, De Vries points to the F1 grid in 2023
At the moment, it looks like de Vries has a good chance of joining the F1 grid full-time from next season. The 2021 Formula E world champion is said to be in the crosshairs of Williams, Alpine and now also Red Bull (albeit more focused on AlphaTauri) thanks to his standout performance at Monza.
However, at first it seems that if the Dutch driver lands in the Grove team, it would not be to replace Albon, since the driver who has the best chance of leaving one of the most historic teams on the grid is Nicholas Latifi .