Nyck de Vries will make his Formula 1 racing debut at the Italian Grand Prix as he replaces Alex Albon after the Williams driver required surgery for appendicitis.
Albon had looked strong throughout Friday practice at Monza but felt unwell overnight and was taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with appendicitis on Saturday morning. That led to Williams calling on de Vries (pictured above) to replace Albon, with the Dutchman having driven the FW44 in Spain earlier this year and took part in FP1 for Aston Martin on Friday.
“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,” a Williams statement read. “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’s good spirits were highlighted by his social media post after the news was announce, stating:
Appendicitis, surgery and no racing isn’t what I was expecting this weekend!
– Missing out on what looks like a strong weekend for us
– Weight reduction for Singapore
– Cool scars
Williams can call on either of the Mercedes reserve drivers – de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne – or its own reserve Jack Aitken during a race weekend, dependent on who is trackside. With de Vries already on-site with Aston Martin for his FP1 run Aitken opted to take up a driver commitment at the Red Bull Ring, while Vandoorne was carrying out marketing duties for Mercedes in Germany on Friday.