Palmer: Williams can’t turn down ‘too appealing’ Albon/de Vries line-up

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Jolyon Palmer believes that an Alex Albon/Nyck de Vries line-up at Williams has now become too appealing to turn down for the British outfit.

De Vries has been mentioned as potential contender for a seat at Williams since 2021. But Albon’s unexpected unavailability last weekend at Monza, due to a sudden case appendicitis, offered the Grove-based outfit an opportunity to put the Dutchman to a full-scale test.

And the least one can say is that de Vries passed the ‘audition’, as he called it, with flying colors.

After unsuspectedly warming up with Aston Martin in FP1, de Vries was drafted in on Saturday morning on short notice to take over Albon’s car.

In the afternoon, he duly qualified P13, outpacing experienced Williams teammate Nicholas Latifi, and then delivered on Sunday a remarkable P9 after a solid drive, again comprehensively beating Latifi to the checkered flag.

“Albon has been on average half a second faster than Latifi on Saturdays, so it wasn’t a complete shock that De Vries could be faster as well – Latifi has been particularly struggling in this generation of car,” Palmer wrote in his post-race column for

“The way that the debutant managed through the race was what secured him the points.”

Palmer noted that de Vries’ somewhat unassuming progress in last Sunday’s race was not unlike Albon’s own approach of “plugging away” to achieve a good result.

“Alex Albon has been putting in stellar drives all season at Williams and De Vries’s Monza effort was Albon-esque in its delivery: relatively understated.

“But by plugging away the result turned up at the end, made all the more impressive by it being a debut.”

Palmer believes that Williams must now be tempted to sign up its super sub to a full-time seat alongside Albon for 2023

“Surely for Williams now, the prospect of having two potential point scorers will be too appealing to turn down for 2023. But it won’t just be them that are keen on De Vries’s signature now.

“The rise in fortunes for the former F2 champion couldn’t have been clearer after a wonderful cameo which showcased his ability.”

Indeed, since his remarkable display at Monza, de Vries has been penciled in by Alpine for a test next week at the Hungaroring, along with three other drivers.

And while Albon is on the mend and is expected to return to the grid in Singapore in two weeks time, de Vries will remain on stand-by with Williams at the Marina Bay venue.

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