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Albon: My F1 future is at Williams, not Red Bull

Alex Albon insists his focus is on a long-term future with Williams in Formula 1, rather than chasing a return to Red Bull.

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

The Thai driver has put himself back in the spotlight after some impressive drives for Williams this season, including a brilliantly executed seventh place in Canada as he held off intense pressure from chasing cars.

That performance earned him the F1 Driver of the Day Award, which is voted for by fans.

Having also been singled out for praise from his former Red Bull boss Christian Horner over his form, there has inevitably been talk that he could earn himself a comeback to the team that dropped him from a race seat at the end of 2020.

However, Albon has made it clear that he is revelling in his life at Williams right now and has no desire to be racing anywhere else.

Asked if he could see himself returning to Red Bull, Albon said: “Truthfully, I think you see it already now, where my main focus is with this team.

“You can see this isn't a short-term situation. I am here for the long run. And I'm really enjoying working with the team, being where I am.

“I do feel like we are on a journey. I do want to continue this journey. Let's see how these next few years unfold, but for now, I am very happy where I am.”

Albon says that Horner’s positive comments after Canada were not out of the ordinary, as he said that his former boss had been in regular contact.

Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing RB16

Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing RB16

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

“Christian is always messaging me, telling me good job and all this kind of thing,” added Albon. “It's always nice to have that relationship with an old team principal boss, I guess you could say.

“It was a great weekend for us [in Canada] and obviously nice of Christian to say that.”

Although Albon is not fighting for the wins and podiums that he was during his time at Red Bull, he says that he is enjoying grand prix racing more now than he was back then – and especially feels in a much happier headspace.

“I'd say I am in a good place mentally, that's for sure,” he said. “I definitely feel like I'm playing an important role in Williams.

“I can't speak for the other drivers [at the team] but the time I had at Red Bull was, at least internally in my eyes, well managed. It was quite a normal race team in that sense.

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“It was just more externally and with lack of experience, and not just on the driving side, but also in how to cope with the general circus of F1, I struggled a little bit.

“As I matured, and have grown experience, I feel like I'm also in a better place regardless.

“I feel like I'm mentally stronger, but I'm also more experienced, and more mature. So it was always going to be easier. But of course, I am in a good place. And I do feel like I'm driving the best I've driven.”

But while happy with life, Albon knows that Williams still faces a very long journey to get to where it wants to be in F1.

“There's still work to do,” he admitted. “It's not like we're driving around and feeling like the car is in a perfect place all the time.

“There are a lot of corners and types of circuits where it doesn't feel that easy. But when it comes to tracks like Canada, it felt pretty good straightaway.

"Also at the same time, just race to race, it's been pretty impressive when you go into FP1 and it feels like you're already matching lap time similar to qualifying from the year before. You can get a lot of confidence from that.

“We have made big steps forwards this year compared to last year. And I think also there's this feeling like every race, it feels like there's always a chance to get into Q2, even now sometimes a chance to get into Q3, which last year was a bit more difficult.”

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