Formula One fans have demanded Williams fire struggling Nicholas Latifi for Nyck de Vries after the Dutchman scored points on his F1 debut. De Vries was handed Alex Albon’s Williams seat hours before qualifying after the Thai driver developed appendicitis.
But, the Mercedes reserve driver starred behind the wheel, getting his Williams into Q2. De Vries was promoted to P8 on the grid after a range of penalties to other drivers but held his own in the race.
He benefited from a packed midfield DRS train but stayed within the top-10 for almost the whole Grand Prix. It meant he came through to finish P9 when the race ended behind the safety car, equalling Albon’s best result of the season.
Meanwhile, Latifi struggled to make progress and crossed the line P15. It means de Vries has now scored more points in one race than Latifi has all season. F1 fans were quick to slam the Canadian on social media with many urging Williams to replace him.
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Twitter user @skillschampion2 said: “I’d sack Latifi the moment he gets out of the car. He’s just been smashed by someone who’s never raced in an F1 car before.” @itslightsout added: “Nyck deVries scored in his first ever F1 race in a Williams. Get Latifi out of the sport immediately.”
@cocodecoeur_ commented: “If I were Jost Capito I’d fire Latifi tomorrow and keep Nyck de Vries for the rest of the season.” A damning statistic shows it took Latifi 28 races to secure a point for Williams while it has taken just one for De Vries.
In comparison, it took Albon just three races after he secured 10th at the Australian Grand Prix. @MattyWTF1 said: “It took just one race for Nyck de Vries to push Latifi into 21st in a 20-driver championship. Just let that sink in.
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“Williams, if you’re actually serious about improving as a team. Bin off Latifi, sign De Vries.” @chrisjlatimer posted: “The true message of this race is Nicholas Latifi should be fired as a Formula One driver.
“For Nyck De Vries to come in on a day’s prep and school him the whole race is embarrassing, sorry but it is, Latifi is a joke to this sport.” De Vries was congratulated by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen moments after the chequered flag.
The ex-Formula E champion could still be in the running for a full-time F1 seat with at least five teams yet to confirm their driver line-up for next season.