Williams has signed Alex Albon to replace George Russell in 2022, with the Red Bull young driver partnering Nicholas Latifi next year.
Russell was confirmed as Mercedes’ choice to partner Lewis Hamilton on Tuesday, bringing to an end his three-year spell at Williams. While that move was not unexpected, Williams had not appeared to be in a rush to secure a replacement at it was in talks with a number of experienced drivers, but have moved quickly to confirm Albon — who lost his race seat at Red Bull at the end of last year — in Russell’s place.
“I am really excited and looking forward to returning to a Formula 1 race seat in 2022,” Albon said. “When you take a year out of F1 it’s never certain you will make a return so I’m extremely thankful to Red Bull and Williams for believing in me and helping me on my journey back to the grid. It’s also been great to see all the progress Williams have been making as a team this year and I look forward to helping them continue that journey in 2022. My focus now returns to my test and reserve driver role at Red Bull and helping the team fight for this year’s world championship.”
Albon will partner Latifi who remains with Williams for a third straight season, and who has scored points on two occasions this year after making a step forward with his qualifying performances in his second season as a race driver.
“I’m excited to be continuing with Williams for another year; partly because of F1’s new technical regulations, but also because the team is moving in a more competitive direction with new owners, management and people on the technical side,” Latifi said.
“I’ve felt at home here since the day I arrived, and I think I’m in the right place to continue with my positive trajectory. The aim is to continue making little improvements so we can all take advantage of the opportunity we have next year.
“I’m super excited to work with next year’s car and it’s like a fresh start for everybody. I feel privileged to be part of that change.”