In a shocking turn of events, Williams F1 team announced on Monday that their driver, Alex Albon, had to be admitted to intensive care after suffering from respiratory failure during what should have been a routine surgery for appendicitis.

The 26-year-old British born racing driver missed the Italian Grand Prix in Monza after being diagnosed with appendicitis on Saturday morning ahead of FP3 and qualifying. He was admitted to a hospital and his seat in the Williams car was taken over by Dutch rookie Nick de Vries.

With appendicitis being a common ailment that is often easily resolved by a simple laparoscopic surgery, fans were hopeful that Albon can easily overcome the hurdle. However, the racing world was shocked and concerned when the team announced that Albon needed to spend Saturday evening on a ventilator after suffering complications caused by an adverse reaction to anaesthesia.

Luckily, he was able to bounce back quickly and has since been transferred back to a regular ward.

The team's official statement read: "Further to Alex Albon's diagnosis of appendicitis on the morning of Saturday 10 September, he was admitted to San Gerardo hospital for treatment."

"He underwent a successful laparoscopic surgery on Saturday lunchtime. Following surgery, Alex suffered with unexpected post-operative anaesthetic complications which led to respiratory failure, a known but uncommon complication."

"He was re-intubated and transferred to intensive care for support."

"He made excellent progress overnight and was able to be removed from mechanical ventilation yesterday morning.

"He has now been transferred to a general ward and is expected to return home tomorrow. There were no other complications."

Fans expressed their concern and well-wishes to Albon, who has gained a steady following since breaking into the scene alongside the fresh crop of "new generation" drivers like Lando Norris (McLaren), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), and George Russel (Mercedes).

His fans are hoping that he can recover quickly enough to be back in action in time for the Singapore Grand Prix on October 2.

If not, it will be another golden opportunity for De Vries, who unexpectedly found himself getting thrust into his first race in Formula 1. The young Dutchman impressed racing fans all over the world in his debut outing, after he finished P9 in Monza, equalling Albon's best finish with the team. It is also an amazing feat that De Vries has scored points inn his first Grand Prix with barely a few laps of practice in the Williams.

The 27-year-old rookie was voted driver of the day following his stunning performance. There is no doubt that it was a big break for De Vries, but it certainly puts the position of Albon and more glaringly his teammate Nicholas Latifi under obvious threat. Latifi only finished in 15th place, several places behind his rookie teammate.

Max Verstappen
Red Bull's Max Verstappen boasts a commanding lead in the world championship standings AFP / JOHN THYS