Alex Albon is rumored to be on the verge of securing his return to the grid in Formula 1 next season, with the Red Bull driver said to be top of Williams’ list of drivers for 2022.
George Russell’s all but confirmed move to Mercedes has opened up an opportunity at Williams where incumbent Nicholas Latifi will most likely enjoy a third campaign with the Grove-based outfit.
Earlier this summer, Williams boss Jost Capito said the team had a long list of potential drivers earmarked for 2022 in the likely event that Russell should leave the British outfit.
But according to media reports in Italy, Albon is now well placed to fill Russell’s seat at Williams.
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Ahead of last week’s Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull announced that it had extended Sergio Perez’s contract with the Milton Keynes-based outfit, while AlphaTauri will most likely confirm Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda for 2022.
The status quo at Red Bull inevitably casts Albon as the odd man out. But last week, RBR team boss Christian Horner said the energy drink company was “looking at options in Formula 1” for its reserve drive.
“Alex still remains an important part of the team,” said Horner. “He’s played a key role this year and will continue to play that role.
“We’re just looking at if there are any options in Formula 1 for him for next year. But in the event that he’s not in a race seat, he will be performing the same role that he has done for us this year.”
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It’s unclear if Albon’s move to Williams, if confirmed, would signify the end of his personal relationship with Red Bull.
Should the Anglo-Thai driver remain within the Red Bull family, a move to Williams might be frowned upon by engine supplier Mercedes, as Albon could be considered by Red Bull as a valuable pipeline to information on the German manufacturer’s power unit.
Any knowledge channeled back to Red Bull could prove useful to its own engine program when it brings Honda’s engines in-house at Milton Keynes from next season.
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