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Williams

Williams outline what will be expected of Albon's new teammate

Williams hold one of only two vacant seats on the 2023 F1 grid and, while the identity of their second driver is yet to be announced, the team know what qualities they are looking for.

Albon Latifi SPain
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Williams are hoping that Alex Albon will be "pushed" by his new teammate in 2023.

It was confirmed in September that Nicholas Latifi will leave the squad at the end of the current season following a three-year stint with the team.

The Canadian was largely outperformed by former Williams driver George Russell in 2020 and 2021, and has struggled in comparison to Albon during 2022.

While the identity of their new driver has yet to be revealed, Dave Robson – Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams – has outlined the qualities that the outfit will be expecting from Albon's next teammate.

"We need someone who will push Alex along, and will be fighting with him every race," Robson told media over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

"Ideally someone who is after similar traits from the car, but we'll see where we go. What we want to do is have two competitive cars pushing each other into Q2, Q3 and beyond."

Williams not finding driver uncertainty "destabilising"

The second Williams seat has been linked with various candidates at different points during the year.

Oscar Piastri and Nyck de Vries were both names mentioned in connection with the place at the team, but each driver has since been confirmed to race for McLaren and AlphaTauri respectively.

Despite the rumours circulating, Robson insists that this has not unsettled the squad at all.

"It's not really destabilising for us," he explained.

"I think here at the track we're very much focused on the here and now. When Nyck jumped in the car in Monza [to replace an unwell Albon], we were able to just switch focus and concentrate on that.

"So we don't take – say the group of engineers here – we don't take too much notice during the weekend of what the speculation is for next year.

"Yes, there's preparations going on in the background but really, Jost [Capito, Williams' CEO] and his team are dealing with that, and our job is just to concentrate on the weekend in hand and pushing this car on and then setting the specs for next year's car, irrespective of who drives it."

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