A few moments ago, Williams confirmed Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi as their drivers for 2022. Alexander Albon is coming to this team as a replacement for George Russell, whom Mercedes confirmed yesterday as its new driver.
Albon is thus returning to the Formula 1 grid after a one-year break as a Williams driver. Albon spent this season as a reserve and test driver for Red Bull after the Austrian team replaced him with Sergio Perez. Albon won two podiums for Red Bull last year but did not convince the bosses of the Austrian team with his races.
But Red Bull was looking for his spot on the grid for 2022, and Albon became one of the main candidates for Williams when it became clear that Russell would be in Mercedes. Albon started his F1 career in 2019 at Toro Rosso but was transferred to Red Bull in the middle of that season because the team was not happy with Gasly’s performances near Verstappen.
Albon had better results with Red Bull during the second half of the season than Gasly in the first half, so Red Bull kept him in the team for 2020. But, as we have already said, he did not satisfy the appetites of Red Bull leaders, so at the end of 2020, he lost a place in Red Bull and Formula 1.
In addition to playing the role of reserve and test driver for Red Bull during this season, Albon also competed in the DTM series. It has long been speculated that Albon could go to Williams, but there were certain obstacles on the part of Mercedes, which supplies its engines to Williams.
Mercedes wanted Albon to cut off his ties with Red Bull so he could sign for Williams, and in addition, the German team advocated bringing in Nyck de Vries. But a certain deal seems to have fallen behind the scenes, as British Autosport claims Albon has maintained his ties to Red Bull and managed to sign a contract with Williams, Mercedes ’partner.
In addition to Albon, Williams also confirmed Latifi for 2022, so the former F2 driver lineup of the DAMS team from 2018 will be Williams' driver lineup for 2022. “We are excited about our new driver lineup, both drivers are a great blend of experience and youth which will be great for the team and it will help us take a step forward,” said Williams boss Jost Capito.
Albon understandably did not hide his enthusiasm for signing for Williams and returning to the Formula 1 grid. “I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to say this. I will be driving for Williams 2022! I sincerely thank Jost and everyone in Williams for trusting me and for giving me this opportunity and of course, I want to thank Red Bull, especially Christian and Dr. The brand that made this possible. "