Mercedes happy to work with Albon as long as Red Bull releases him

Toto Wolff says Mercedes would be happy to work with Alex Albon at customer team Williams next year if Red Bull releases him from its Formula 1 contract.

Mercedes happy to work with Albon as long as Red Bull releases him

Albon is angling to make an F1 comeback next year, having dropped off the grid when he was dropped by Red Bull into a reserve role at the end of the 2020 season.

Both Williams and Alfa Romeo have expressed an interest in signing Albon for next year, while Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries has also been linked to both teams.

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner said on Friday that Albon's preference was to join Williams, but that he feared Mercedes would block the move because of its ties to its customer squad.

Asked by Motorsport.com on Saturday how much of an issue it would be for a Red Bull-linked driver to race with a Mercedes power unit next year, Mercedes boss Wolff acknowledged it would be "tricky".

"It's one thing about the power unit, and I think with Albon, as I said yesterday, he's a driver that deserves his seat in Formula 1," Wolff said.

"But it's tricky to have a 100% Red Bull driver on a Mercedes power unit. So, [we are] happy to work with him, as long as they let him free from his Red Bull contract.

"And on the other side, we are supporting Nyck de Vries, obviously, and he is in talks with Williams to get the seat there. So there's quite some balls in the air."

Read Also:

Horner claimed on Friday that Albon had received "about four phone calls telling him not to go there from the team next door", but Wolff denied Mercedes had tried to dissuade the Anglo-Thai driver from a Williams switch.

"Alex Albon is in regular contact with an ex-mentor of mine, Gwen Lagrue, who is running our Mercedes junior programme," Wolff said.

"They were discussing with James Vowles, our head of strategy, the opportunities for next year.

"I don't think he was told to do or not do anything, it was just exploring the opportunities for Alex and for Nyck in an amicable way, between Alex and the group."

shares
comments
Alonso: Strategy "surprises" could deliver Dutch GP excitement

Previous article

Alonso: Strategy "surprises" could deliver Dutch GP excitement

Next article

The decade-long wait for a Dutch hero's F1 comeback

The decade-long wait for a Dutch hero's F1 comeback
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021