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Who Will Be Williams’ Second Driver in 2023?

Written by Sean McKean, Edited by Sameena Khan

Following the recent announcement of Fernando Alonso signing with Aston Martin in 2023, many fans are beginning to speculate about who will take the remaining seats. Williams is an interesting case, as there are many different options they could choose. However, since Alexander Albon is contracted for the first seat, we’ll look at who could fill the second one next year.

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An excellent place to start would be talking about the current driver of the second car, Nicholas Latifi. Nicholas has not had a stellar season alongside Alexander Albon compared to last season. Instead, it has been one riddled with crashes and clumsy mistakes. Heading into the summer break, Nicholas sits 20th in the standings and is currently the only full-time driver not to score points.

Despite this, he has performed sparingly this season, enough to maybe warrant a contract extension, for example, in the British Grand Prix, where he made it into Q3 for the first time and came close to scoring his first points of the season in the race before falling to 12th. Hungary is also worth noting, as he topped FP3 overall and had a purple first sector in qualifying before making a mistake in the final corner. However, even without these performances, what could keep him in his seat is his sponsor Sofina. That could incline Williams to sign him on for another year.

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Since the recent unravelling of the Alpine contract saga, Oscar Piastri’s name has appeared in contention for about every open seat in Formula 1, and there’s a reason why. Oscar won the 2021 Formula 2 Championship in dominating fashion, taking six wins, five poles, and eleven podiums in his rookie season. He beat drivers such as Robert Shwartzman, Dan Ticktum, Theo Pourchaire, and eventual Formula 1 driver Guanyu Zhou. Ever since he won the title, all fans, media personnel, and drivers alike have been calling for Oscar to get a drive in Formula 1.

The only thing holding him back from possibly getting this seat could be the connection with Alpine since the contract saga has recently spiralled out of control. Whether or not this could potentially tank a future ride he has signed for is yet to be seen.

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Logan Sargeant has been one of the most impressive rookies in Formula 2. Logan currently sits third in the standings with two wins and four podiums. However, he has some leverage compared to others in the field, being the Williams Driver Academy. If Williams wants someone in their pipeline to come through immediately, they could try to snatch him up for next year if they think he is ready. On top of this, getting an American driver into a Formula 1 team would be a massive accomplishment for Williams and the sport, as you would potentially tap into a vast market.

The only limiting factor here is a super license. Currently, Logan would have to win the Formula 2 title to get the necessary points to get a super license. This is an incredibly lofty task, as he sits 61 points behind championship leader Felipe Drugovich, and it appears that Felipe has unstoppable momentum going right now. That gap will be tough to close with only four rounds remaining in the season, though it is not impossible.

Williams has many options to pick from to fill their second seat. Whether they renew Latifi’s contract or take on young drivers like Piastri and Sargeant, anyone that takes the seat will rightfully deserve it. All we’ve done is name three potential candidates, but when it comes down to it, it’s up to Williams to confirm who will drive for them in 2023.

Is there anyone you think we missed here? Leave a comment and let us know!

1 Comment

Aug 05, 2022

Now Albon is fixed in, would be nice to see a rookie... Sargeant would be interesting. Of course with Ricciardo looking doubtful at McLaren could he maybe sneak in ? Webber pulling a few strings in the background for him with his old team maybe ?

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