Williams hints at new reserve driver for 2023 season

Williams hints at new reserve driver for 2023 season

8 February - 18:05 Last update: 21:28


For 2023, almost all positions for drivers in Formula 1 have been taken. As one of the few teams, Williams (as does Alpine) have one spot open: who will be this year's reserve driver should Alex Albon or Logan Sargeant unexpectedly have to miss out on a Grand Prix?

The team has not yet officially announced who may drive the blue car in case of an emergency. Jamie Chadwick was present last Monday during the unveiling of the 2023 car's livery. The English driver, who does not hold a super licence, has already been announced as a test driver. Her work will mainly be in the simulator. She never drove a F1-car in free practice during a Grand Prix weekend, although she was behind the wheel during test sessions in older Williams cars.

Access to a pool of talent

In addition, Williams has in its own Academy. Zak O' Sullivan, who is starting his second season in Formula 3, is one of the young drivers. Oliver Gray will also compete in this series, but will do so for the first time in 2023. The last driver in the Academy is Franco Colapinto. Listed as a major talent, he will also compete in Formula 3. None of the three hold a super licence.

GPblog asked Williams who will be the team's test driver in 2023? "We have a pool of talented young drivers we have access to, should we need," the team informed us. With the word 'access', Williams seems to be hinting that other teams could be asked to share their drivers, making Mercedes the most obvious team.

Schumacher also at Williams?

Last season, Williams could do the same at the time when Albon was struggling with an appendicitis the day before the Italian Grand Prix. Then Nyck de Vries came in from Mercedes. This year, Mick Schumacher is Mercedes' reserve driver. It was previously announced by McLaren that the German could also fill in at that team, just as De Vries would have been an option for McLaren a year earlier. So it looks like Williams will also have 'access' to Mercedes' reserve this year.