Formula 1: Who could replace Nicholas Latifi at Williams?

Logan Sargeant, Nyck de Vries, Daniel Ricciardo

Nicholas Latifi is leaving Williams at the end of the season, with the news likely bringing down the curtain on his Formula 1 career, at least for the time being.

The Canadian has been on the grid since 2020 with him making his debut during the pandemic-hit campaign and in that time he’s worked hard with the Grove-based team to try and help them climb the grid.

Ultimately, it’s been a tough period for him, though there were highs like a points-scoring finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix, and he also has a strong following on social media among fans of the sport.

As the news begins to filter through that he is leaving the team, meanwhile, attention will quickly turn to who will replace him at Williams for next season.

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Alex Albon is already contracted with the team for 2023 and so it’s all about finding a team-mate for him in the coming weeks – with Williams saying they’ll announce the identity of his partner for next year in due course.

Williams’ driver options for 2023

Who could be in the frame for the drive, then? We take a look at some of the likely runners and riders…

Nyck de Vries

De Vries has been heavily linked with a move to Williams and this news about Latifi could have many thinking it’s a done deal with the Dutchman, though it may not be as cut and dried as that.

De Vries undoubtedly impressed in the Williams at the Italian Grand Prix as he stood in for Alex Albon, and that performance surely helped usher out Latifi, with the former Formula E champ also familiar with the team having worked with them at the Spanish GP for an FP1 session earlier this year.

However, there’s also considerable speculation both AlphaTauri and Alpine might like to bring him in for 2023, with Pierre Gasly’s future in Faenza a key cog in this particular wheel.

Logan Sargeant

There’s a lot that could work in Sargeant’s favour here.

If De Vries ends up signing for another team, and that is possible, Sargeant could arguably be seen as the favourite for the drive.

He’s young but clearly talented with him sitting in third in the Formula 2 standings this year and he’s a member of the Williams driver academy, with him seen as the most likely candidate to be promoted from that to Formula 1 next.

In the modern F1 era where the growth in America is also important for teams to capitalise on, too, it could well be handy for Logan that he comes from Florida…

Daniel Ricciardo
SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 28: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren looks on from the drivers parade prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2022 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo

The Aussie is currently without a drive for 2023 with his time at McLaren coming to an end.

He’s said that he has accepted the possibility of not driving in F1 next year but there are still options available to him, and Williams now have a seat available.

Whether he’d fancy heading to a team that, with the best will in the world, isn’t going to be challenging for race victories next year more than likely, is a potential obstacle in the road, but if it’s a project Ricciardo fancies and the team can make the numbers work, it could be an interesting proposition.

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Someone else?

There are several other drivers who could be in the mix for the seat, including Mick Schumacher.

Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi are both being touted as replacements for Mick and if he does leave Haas he’ll want to find a drive as quick as he can to stay in the sport.

Williams have Mercedes power and there are obvious links between Mercedes and the Schumacher family, though Mick would be the first to say he only wants an offer based on his own merit.

Potentially a dark horse to watch for 2023? We’ll see…

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