Updated: Feb 28
Written by Janvi Unni, edited by Harshi Vashee
Williams announced at the beginning of this month that Alex Albon would be making a return to Formula One with their team in 2022, alongside their current driver Nicholas Latifi. Most people didn’t think that Albon would be returning to F1 anytime soon, and especially not with Williams. There were other, more experienced drivers who were rumoured to be signing with Williams for 2022 like Daniil Kvyat and Nico Hülkenberg.
But Albon may be just what Williams needs to start their journey back to the top; and maybe Williams is what Alex needs too.
Alex Albon may not have had the best year in 2020, but from Williams’ point of view, he seems to be what they’re looking for. He’s done a lot of work for RedBull on the simulator and even tested the Pirelli 18-inch tires. It’s clear that Alex is worthy of a seat, otherwise RedBull wouldn’t have fought so hard to make sure Alex could drive in Formula One again.
Williams team principal Jost Capito said, “We want to move forward. Alex has a lot of experience despite only being at the beginning of his career. He’s had the experience of being successful on the podium, and he’s eager to do that again. He fits in well with the team and gets along with Nicky, who he was teammates with in F2. If you put these attributes on a checklist, he’s the perfect guy for us.”
For Alex, he gets a second chance at F1 in a team where he isn’t under the constant pressure of having to score a lot of points every weekend in a bid to secure the constructor’s title. Some could compare it to Pierre Gasly starting afresh (and thriving) at a new environment in AlphaTauri.
Albon said in an interview, “Williams looks like they’re on the up. I had a chance to visit the team and they seemed very positive and optimistic. It seemed like the best choice for me to make a return to the grid. They’re very keen to get involved and make things happen.”
If all goes well for Williams with the new regulations next year, Alex might help them regain some of their mojo, and vice-versa.