Nicholas Latifi's 2022 F1 season has been a bit of a disaster. The Williams driver was expected to take a step up this season within the team, especially with George Russell moving to Mercedes and Alex Albon replacing him.
That, however, has just not been the case. Latifi has been completely outclassed by Albon. Other than Silverstone, a race where Latifi came into his own in wet weather, it has been a one-way street.
Latifi is the only active driver on the grid who is yet to score a point this season. Every weekend, he suffers from a deficit of 3-4 tenths on average to his teammate. Through all of this, the Canadian has found himself floundering at the back of the grid while Albon has extracted every ounce of performance from the car to run as close as possible to a point-scoring position.
Oscar Piastri, a driver who has been a hot topic this summer break, was one of the favorites to take over Latifi's seat at the end of the season. There were discussions from Alpine about loaning the driver to Williams. As it turns out, Piastri is off to greener pastures and that removes another name from the reckoning.
Having said that, F1 is a sport where quality drivers are always on the lookout for a seat, and more often than not quality drivers are waiting in the wings should Williams be interested. Who are they? Well, let's find out!
Possible replacements for Nicholas Latifi's Williams F1 seat!
#1 Logan Sargeant
With as many as three races in the United States, the demand in that part of the world is surely going to increase. This could also bring about a corresponding increase in the investments in the sport. Fielding an American driver could be the ticket to more money coming into the team and for that very reason, Colton Herta was given a private test by McLaren as well.
For Williams, things are a bit different. They already have an American driver in their ranks and he has already picked up two feature race wins in F2. Although Logan Sargeant is probably out of contention for the title, he has demonstrated an ability to be a very quick driver.
Does a move to F1 as Nicholas Latifi's replacement make sense? It does, if you consider the fact that Sargeant lost out in the F1 championship to Oscar Piastri by 4 points.
#2 Nyck De Vries
There was a lot of momentum behind Nyck De Vries when he made his FP1 appearance at Williams alongside Nicholas Latifi this season. The driver is the reigning Formula E world champion and a former F2 champion. It's a very impressive stat if someone is trying to stake a claim in an F1 seat.
What made things even more impressive was the FP1 session De Vries had at Mercedes. It was surprising to see De Vries being able to hold his own against George Russell. The Dutch driver did not out-pace Russell (wonder what would have happened if he had done that), but he did put together lap times that were probably just a couple of tenths slower than the latter.
De Vries has shown strong potential whenever he's had a chance in F1 as he even outpaced Nicholas Latifi in the FP1 test. Concurrently, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is keen on giving the Dutch driver an opportunity in F1. Could a move to Williams work out for both parties? Ideally, it should, because Mercedes is the power unit supplier for Williams. Russell was placed at Williams for multiple seasons for this reason and De Vries could follow the same path as well.
#3 Felipe Drugovich
Although an outsider by the look of things as he is not getting mentioned by any of the team, Felipe Drugovich, the favorite to win the F2 title this season, could just be the perfect candidate to replace Nicholas Latifi at Williams. The Brazilian driver will have some financial backing that he can bring with him to the team. To add to this, Drugovich has shown impressive potential while driving an F2 car.
Does he belong to the league of Charles Leclerc or George Russell? Probably not, because this will be his third season in F2 and he is arguably competing against a more inexperienced group of drivers. Having said that, the Brazilian ticks all the other boxes. He's fast, he brings money just like Nicholas Latifi does, and to add to that, he could be a good prospect who excels in the sport after finally putting things together in F2.