Albon’s F1 return could be agreed in next week amid Williams/Alfa interest

Alexander Albon’s return to the Formula 1 grid could be clinched within the next week amid interest from both Williams and Alfa Romeo for 2022.

Albon’s F1 return could be agreed in next week amid Williams/Alfa interest

Albon has served as Red Bull’s reserve and test driver this season after being dropped at the end of last year to make way for Sergio Perez at the team as Max Verstappen’s team-mate.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed last week at Spa that efforts were being made to find Albon a seat for next year, with Williams and Alfa Romeo being the two open teams.

Albon’s return to the grid would be a key part of the driver market silly season, which is also waiting for an announcement by Mercedes to define George Russell and Valtteri Bottas’s future plans.

Speaking on Friday at Zandvoort, Horner said there was “quite a bit of interest” in Albon for next year, and that Red Bull would “do whatever we can” to get him back on the grid next year.

“I hope that nothing prevents him from realising one of those opportunities,” Horner said.

“He's a talented driver. Subject to George moving, now Kimi [Raikkonen] is retiring, that does open up opportunities. So I'm sure that will get resolved over the next week or so.”

Horner ruled out a return for Albon to AlphaTauri, who he debuted for in 2019 when the team was known as Toro Rosso, and confirmed that both Williams and Alfa Romeo had enquired about his services.

“We're looking at external teams,” Horner said.

“So Williams and Alfa have both expressed interest. And yeah, we're keen to see him back racing in Formula 1. Hopefully that can get resolved over the next few days.”

Asked if he would be prepared to lose Albon from the Red Bull family if he joined a Mercedes- or Ferrari-linked team for next year, Horner said Red Bull would “accommodate whatever we can to ensure that he's back in a race seat next year.”

Horner added: “There's always obstacles. He's a lad that deserves an opportunity in Formula 1 next year, and we're doing our best to try and help him achieve that.

“There’s good discussions ongoing at the moment. So hopefully that can get resolved in the coming days.”

Nyck de Vries Mercedes FE champion

Nyck de Vries Mercedes FE champion

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Albon’s future appears to be directly linked to the placing of Formula E champion Nyck de Vries joining the F1 grid next year as Mercedes looks to secure him a drive.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said that it “revolves around Alex Albon”, who he agreed “deserves a seat” in Formula 1.

“He’s a really good kid, and he's probably the main protagonist in the moving chairs,” Wolff said.

“So Nyck has a guaranteed seat in Formula E with us. And I mean, as I said before, I wish him to be in Formula 1, but I don't want to lose him for our Formula E campaign.”

shares
comments

Related video

How ‘mentor’ Vettel is giving back to the Schumacher family

Previous article

How ‘mentor’ Vettel is giving back to the Schumacher family

Next article

Dutch GP memories: Six standout moments from an F1 classic

Dutch GP memories: Six standout moments from an F1 classic
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021