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Silly season: Fans give their verdict on the Williams 2022 line-up

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Formula E champion Nyck de Vries is the favourite to join Williams next season, according to a FormulaNerds Twitter pole. 

34% of respondents believe that the Dutchman – who also won the Formula 2 championship back in 2019 – will make the move to the Grove team.

De Vries was actually linked to Williams for a drive in 2020 but was snubbed in favour of Nicholas Latifi, who was the F2 runner-up in 2019.

Currently, De Vries is the test and reserve driver for Mercedes, but rumours have strongly linked him to get a full-time role in Formula 1 next year.

De Vries became the first FIA Formula E world champion last weekend in Berlin

After the 26-year-old, 29% believed that Latifi would maintain his seat next year.

The Canadian has struggled since joining Williams in 2020 and is yet to outqualify teammate George Russell, but Latifi did manage to score his first points last time out in Hungary.

A key reason for Latifi’s appointment was the sponsorship money he brought to the team, but since then new owners Dorilton Capital have taken over and Williams have confirmed there isn’t the need for pay drivers anymore.

With rafts of talent in the junior categories and many others waiting in the wings, Latifi’s seat could be one to watch this winter.

Next was Valtteri Bottas, who picked up a sizeable 23% of votes.

The Finn started his F1 career with Williams, and then made the step up to Mercedes in 2017, replacing the retired Nico Rosberg.

Bottas is now in his fifth year with the Silver Arrows and has picked up nine victories since, but a difficult season so far has left his place in the team under question – and with a contract expiring at the end of the year, he finds himself in a tricky situation.

Mercedes junior driver Russell is chomping at the bit for the chance in a race-winning car, and if Toto Wolff opts for the Englishman, Bottas’ F1 options would be limited.

One of the few seats available would be at Williams, and if Bottas finds himself not at Mercedes next year, a return to Grove could be the perfect option.

The 31-year-old has plenty of experience higher up the grid, which will be invaluable for a Williams team that has languished at the back of the field for far too long now.

Bottas is also very clued-up with the Mercedes power unit and has been at Williams before, bringing a sense of familiarity.

FP3 - Bottas fastest as Williams hit the front in Austria
Bottas picked up seven podiums in four years with the team

Some fans speculated that Bottas will be able to maintain his role as 14% believe Russell will remain at Williams next year.

There was also a dark horse thrown into the mix: Nico Hulkenberg.

The German veteran has been out of action for two seasons now but is keen to make a return to the sport.

Hulkenberg is currently the Aston Martin reserve driver, yet a move to Williams will bring a consistent performer to the team in a new era of F1.

What do you think the Williams lineup will look like next season?

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