Horner: Important for Albon not to spend another year out of F1

Upon the news of Alex Albon’s signing with Williams for 2022, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says that it was important for its reserve driver not to spend another season on F1’s sidelines.

Albon will return to the fray with Williams next season, racing alongside Nicholas Latifi who will undertake next year his third season with the British outfit.

While Albon was at the top of Williams’ list of potential recruits to replace Mercedes-bound George Russell, the Anglo-Thai racer’s situation was complicated by his affiliation with Red Bull.

As Williams’ engine supplier, Mercedes understandably had reservations about the Grove-based outfit entrusting one of its cars to a driver that would remain contracted to Red Bull, which is in the process of taking over Honda’s engine program from 2022.

    Read also: Williams Racing confirms Latifi and Albon as 2022 line-up!

In order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest down the road, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggested last week that Albon cut all ties with Red Bull before joining Williams.

Red Bull appears to have reached a compromise that has obviously satisfied all parties, including Mercedes.

“We have released Alex to become a Williams Racing driver in 2022 but retain a relationship with him that includes future options,” a Red Bull spokesperson said on Wednesday.

In the wake of Albon’s signing, Horner said: “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 & 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.

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“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.”

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