Alex Albon looked back on his rollercoaster career in Formula 1 so far, but feels stability, now on his second season with Williams, building for the future.
Alex Albon’s career in F1 was far from being smooth sailing, making his debut with Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) in 2019, promoted to Red Bull midseason to replace the struggling Pierre Gasly, and while he raced for a full season with the five-time Constructors” Champions in 2020, his performance were deemed insufficient and was let go to make way for Sergio Perez.
After spending 2021 on the sidelines, Albon found his way back to F1, as he was signed by Williams – with the help of Red Bull – to replace Mercedes-bound George Russell, and the driver did a decent job on his return season with the Grove-based outfit.
Two stressful years
Albon reflected on the insecurity he felt in his year away from the sport and how was somehow stressed ahead of joining Williams, not knowing what to expect, but admits with his long term contract with the team, he now feels stable.
“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 said, speaking to Motorsport.com.
“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,” he added.
Looking back on his F1 career, Albon recalled: “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.”
Nerves and excitement ahead of return
“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,'” Albon added, ahead of joining Williams.
“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,” he pointed out. “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,” the 26-year-old maintained.
Albon, on his second season with Williams, will be joined by a new teammate, American Logan Sargeant. He will also have a new boss in the form of James Vowles, the former Mercedes Chief Strategist who replaced Jost Capito at the helm at Williams.