Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Alex Albon’s progress at Williams will be closely monitored after his return to the Formula 1 grid was confirmed.
Albon will replace George Russell at Williams in 2022 — partnering Nicholas Latifi — after spending this year racing in DTM alongside his test and reserve driver role at Red Bull.
Albon will remain a Red Bull-affiliated driver in a similar deal to when Carlos Sainz moved from Toro Rosso to Renault, despite Toto Wolff’s call for Red Bull to release Albon completely in order to drive for a Mercedes-powered team.
“We have released Alex to become a Williams Racing driver in 2022 but retain a relationship with him that includes future options,” a Red Bull spokesperson said.
While there was no opening for the 25-year-old at one of the Red Bull-backed teams, Horner says Albon deserved a chance to show his potential and hints the door is open for him to earn a move back to either Red Bull or AlphaTauri in the future.
“We rate Alex very highly and with our line-up for 2022 fixed, our objective was to help find him a seat in another team where he could gain more F1 mileage and experience and we are delighted to have done that with Williams Racing,” Horner said.
“Alex has been a hugely valuable asset in his role as our test and reserve driver this year, helping bring performance from the simulator to the car each weekend, but for his career it was important not to spend another season out of an F1 race seat. With his place on the grid next year secured, we are delighted to see him realize this opportunity and we will be following his progress closely.”