Alex Albon will be replaced by Mercedes reserve driver Nycxk de Vries at the Italian Grand prix after a medical issue plagued the Williams star. Albon is out for the rest of the weekend after suffering appendicitis with Williams confirming Formula E champion De Vries will take his place.
Williams said: “Williams Racing can confirm that, after feeling unwell this morning and seeking medical advice from the FIA and local hospital, Alex Albon is now undergoing treatment for appendicitis. Following on from this, we can confirm that the team’s Reserve Driver Nyck de Vries will drive in place of Alex for the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
“Alex is in good spirits and the team wishes him a speedy recovery.” Albon posted a hilarious response to his illness on social media moments after the announcement.
He Tweeted: “Appendicitis, surgery and no racing isn’t what I was expecting this weekend! Negatives: Missing out on what looks like a strong weekend for us. Pain.
“Positives: Weight reduction for Singapore. Cool scars.”
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De Vries was already at Monza after enjoying an FP1 drive with Aston Martin yesterday. He has also stepped behind the cockpit of a Williams having driven their car in practice at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Dutchman also stepped in for Lewis Hamilton in free practice at the French Grand Prix earlier this season.
De Vries has previously been tipped as the seven-time champion’s possible successor at the Silver Arrows. Speaking earlier this summer, Dutch racing star Tom Coronel added: “If Lewis Hamilton stops, Nyck de Vries will get the seat.
“Do you know why? As I’ve been saying for a year, Nyck is Toto Wolff’s insurance policy.” Seats are yet to be decided at five F1 teams for next season meaning De Vries hope of securing an F1 drive is not over.
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Alpine, Alpha Tauri, Alfa Romeo, Haas and Williams are yet to confirm their driver line-ups for the 2023 season. The Dutchman addressed his hope for an F1 seat ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
The ex-Formula 2 champion admitted he “deserves a chance” on the grid but stressed he had to wait for a team to give him the backing. He explained: “Time will tell. It’s out of my hands, it’s not in my control.
“Obviously it is a dream and I think I would deserve a chance. But ultimately it’s not up to me to decide a driver line-up.” Wolff stressed De Vries was looking at a range of motorsport opportunities but admitted Mercedes could not help him get on the F1 grid.
He added: “I can’t really help him. We can’t tell a team to look at him because that feels like interference and then it goes the contrary way. He’s looking at various options, sports cars, maybe Formula E, but you just must never give up on the opportunity that one day a Formula One door can open.”