Williams signs Alex Albon for Formula 1 return in 2022

Alexander Albon will make his Formula 1 comeback with Williams next year after being signed by the team to replace George Russell.

After being dropped from Red Bull’s senior team at the end of the 2020 season, Albon has spent this year serving as its reserve driver, as well as racing in the DTM.

Red Bull revealed last month that it was working on a deal to secure Albon an F1 return, either at Alfa Romeo or Williams after both teams had expressed an interest in signing the Anglo-Thai driver.

Williams announced on Wednesday that Albon would be racing alongside Nicholas Latifi next year, with the Canadian returning for a third season.

“I am really excited and looking forward to returning to a Formula 1 race seat in 2022,” Albon said.

“When you take a year out of F1 it’s never certain you will make a return so I’m extremely thankful to Red Bull and Williams for believing in me and helping me on my journey back to the grid.

“It’s also been great to see all the progress Williams have been making as a team this year and I look forward to helping them continue that journey in 2022.”

Albon replaces Russell for next year, whose move to Mercedes was finally announced on Tuesday after Valtteri Bottas’s switch to Alfa Romeo was revealed one day earlier.

Albon scored two F1 podiums with Red Bull through 2020, having joined the team midway through the 2019 season after an impressive start to his F1 career at Toro Rosso.

“It is fantastic to be able to confirm our driver line-up for 2022 and I am delighted to be welcoming Alex to the team, along with confirming our continued relationship with Nicholas into next year,” said Williams CEO Jost Capito.

“We are extremely excited by our new line-up, with both drivers bringing a great blend of youth and experience that will not only be a great fit for the team but also help us take the next step in our journey.

“Alex is one of the most exciting young talents in motorsport, yet comes with a large amount of F1 experience from his time at Red Bull. His multiple podium finishes highlight his speed as a driver, and we know he will immediately feel at home with the team at Grove.

“Nicholas meanwhile has consistently impressed us over the past three years with his hard work, diligence, and positive attitude. He has continued to develop throughout his time at Williams and has grown into an impressive F1 driver, as seen by his points scoring finishes this season.

“We are now looking forward to continuing to build on our positive momentum as a team and finishing this season as strongly as possible, before turning our attentions to 2022.”

Read Also:

It is understood that Albon will retain a link the Red Bull family next year, the team commenting: "We have released Alex to become a Williams Racing driver in 2022 but retain a relationship with him that includes future options."

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner added: “We rate Alex very highly and with our line-up for 2022 fixed, our objective was to help find him a seat in another team where he could gain more F1 mileage and experience and we are delighted to have done that with Williams Racing.

“Alex has been a hugely valuable asset in his role as our test and reserve driver this year, helping bring performance from the simulator to the car each weekend, but for his career it was important not to spend another season out of an F1 race seat.

“With his place on the grid next year secured, we are delighted to see him realise this opportunity and we will be following his progress closely.”

shares
comments

Related video

Horner: Zandvoort atmosphere "like being in a nightclub for three days"
Previous article

Horner: Zandvoort atmosphere "like being in a nightclub for three days"

Next article

Formula 1 and Motorsport Network launch world’s largest F1 Fan Survey

Formula 1 and Motorsport Network launch world’s largest F1 Fan Survey
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021