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 affix the “fixer” group, however with the occasions of the previous few days, that possibility appears to be historical past. Depending on how the state of affairs across the younger expertise goes, he will begin for both Alpine or McLaren. Who can recommend a second Williams as an alternative?
Formula 1 2023: Williams contenders all have one imaginative and prescient
Nicholas Latifi: Of course, the pilot at present manning the Williams cockpit ought to be talked about first on this article. Nicolas Latifi isn’t thought-about a very gifted driver and his ends in his Formula 1 profession emphasize this. He did not see a single nation in opposition to George Russell for 2 years, solely main the qualifiers as soon as and scoring simply 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 in a position to 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 massive query at Williams is whether or not Williams can and will share the cash the Latifi household has poured into the group’s coffers.
Nick De Vries: Formula 2 champion and Formula E world champion. Nick De Vries’ resume reads like a thick utility letter for a freshman. In Williams, he has been marketed as a sizzling candidate in latest months. De Vries was rumored to be becoming a member of Formula 1 final season, however in the long run 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 continues 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 classes this season in France for the Silver Arrows and in Barcelona for Williams. So what might be extra logical than the 27-year-old becoming a member of Mercedes’ buyer group 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 may select a successor to Nicolas Latifi from his junior group. 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 massive 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 occasion) and two pole positions. It is at present in third place within the championship.
What distinguishes the junior driver is his clear driving type: in 2021 and throughout the season thus far, he has not acquired 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,” stated Williams boss Jost Capito. Whether he is promoted in 2023 or not, he is all-star for now. At his dwelling GP within the US, Sargeant will absolutely participate within the first free apply 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 purpose 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 educational curve can be pointing in the correct course. The solely query is whether or not he can stay Ferrari’s junior after that. In 2022, Williams additionally agreed with Red Bull driver Albon, and within the quick to medium time period, Ferrari transferring Schumacher isn’t life like anyway.
Daniel Ricardo: The identical goes for Ricciardo and Schumacher: Williams would be the final resort if he wasn’t provided one other contract. Despite all of the denials, every little thing now factors to the departure of McLaren, primarily from Piastri’s employees. He could 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 vary.
Felipe Drugovic: The Brazilian has been on prime type within the 2022 Formula 2 season and at present leads the championship. Nevertheless, his identify isn’t 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 automobiles.
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 ascertain himself as a Formula 1 contender, he’s a transparent outsider at greatest. A transfer to IndyCar is now thought-about doubtless, the place it is rather standard with some groups.