Albon: "Privilege" to have long-term stability in F1 with Williams

Alex Albon believes it is a “privilege” to have long-term stability in Formula 1 with Williams after an “up and down rollercoaster” in the early part of his career.

Albon: "Privilege" to have long-term stability in F1 with Williams

Albon returned to F1 full-time last year with Williams after spending a year in a reserve and test role with Red Bull, who dropped him from its line-up at the end of 2020.

He excelled upon his return to the grid, leading Williams’ efforts at the back of the field with points finishes in Australia, Miami and Belgium. It was enough for Albon to secure a multi-year contract extension with the team, giving him long-term security for the first time in his F1 career.

Albon said he felt a “sense of calmness” at the end of the 2022 season because of the stability, particularly after the previous uncertainty about his Red Bull future and the push to return to the grid.

“I guess the last two years, one of those years was very stressful, and the other one being nervous, and I guess I was gearing up for the year and didn’t know what to expect,” Albon told Autosport.

“I’ve signed a contract which is maybe one of the best feelings, long-term.

“It's a privilege in Formula 1, if I’m honest. I’m feeling very good, feeling proud, just proud of how things have turned out.

“It’s been a bit of an up and down rollercoaster in Formula 1 for me, and it’s nice that I feel like I’m building now.

“I’m excited to be working with the team into the new year, focused on car development and what you'd consider the normal things, not worrying about having a drive.”

Alex Albon, Williams

Alex Albon, Williams

Photo by: Erik Junius

Albon faced funding difficulties while in Formula 2, only for his displays to result in him returning to the Red Bull junior programme and secure an F1 seat with Toro Rosso for the 2019 season.

He was promoted to Red Bull’s senior team just 12 races into his F1 career, swapping seats with Pierre Gasly, but would eventually be replaced by Sergio Perez at the end of 2020.

Albon acknowledged he felt a sense of nervousness ahead of his return to F1 with Williams, only for that to disappear once he got back into the car and could focus on driving.

“It’s hard, because it’s nerves, it’s excitement, but it’s also that kind of stress of, ‘OK, how is it going to go? We’ve had a year away now,’” said Albon.

“You are going to be a little bit rusty. It’s not a normal sport where you can practice in your back garden, you’ve got to keep driving.

“At the same time, I guess it’s a bit of a second chance, so you know that you have to deliver.

“Not many people get second chances, and I was fortunate enough to get one. The build-up was pretty good, spending time in the factory and the team, things like that.

“But as soon as you drive, that’s obviously when you feel the most comfortable, actually. It’s what you’re born to do.

“Once you get into the car, everything feels fine. It’s just that build up, that’s what gets your heart going.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ben Sulayem urges caution over "exaggerated" $20bn valuation for F1
Previous article

Ben Sulayem urges caution over "exaggerated" $20bn valuation for F1

Next article

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023