Alex Albon OUT of Italian Grand Prix with appendicitis as Nyck de Vries makes F1 debut for Williams

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Alex Albon OUT of Italian Grand Prix with appendicitis as Nyck de Vries makes F1 debut for Williams

Williams driver Alex Albon has been ruled out for the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix weekend due to illness.

The Thai-British driver - who took part in the first two practice sessions on Friday - is battling appendicitis and will not compete in FP3, qualifying at Monza or in Sunday’s race, with Mercedes reserve Nyck de Vries to make his Formula One debut instead.

Dutchman De Vries, 27, won the Formula E World Championship with Mercedes-EQ last year and is also the 2019 Formula 2 world champion with ART Grand Prix.

“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,” the British team said in a statement on Saturday.

“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 tweeted: “Appendicitis, surgery and no racing isn’t what I was expecting this weekend! Negatives: - Missing out on what looks like a strong weekend for us - Pain Positives - Weight reduction for Singapore - Cool scars.”

Williams currently sit rock bottom of the 2022 constructor standings having amassed just four points from 15 races so far this season, 21 adrift of nearest rivals Aston Martin.

Former Red Bull driver Albon is responsible for all of those, having finished 10th at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa last month.

Mercedes reserve Nyck de Vries will replace Alex Albon at Williams for the Italian Grand Prix (Getty Images)
Mercedes reserve Nyck de Vries will replace Alex Albon at Williams for the Italian Grand Prix (Getty Images)

He came ninth at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in May and earned another point by crossing the line in 10th at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in April. Team-mate Nicolas Latifi is yet to get off the mark with only seven races left this term, meanwhile.

This is only the third time this season that a reserve driver has stood in during a Grand Prix weekend, with Nico Hulkenberg deputising for Aston Martin at the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia after Sebastian Vettel tested positive for Covid-19.