Alex Albon is a man in demand thanks to his strong Formula 1 performances for Williams, with Red Bull said to be keen on bringing their former racer back into the fold
Three years after he was axed by Red Bull, Alex Albon has the chance to take a step closer to a fairytale return.
So good have his performances been since joining Williams after a year out of Formula 1 that the top teams have begun to take notice again. More than that, he is the most in-demand racer on the grid.
It would be great to see Albon continue to spearhead Williams’ charge back up the grid as James Vowles bids to restore F1’s sleeping giants to their former glory. Sadly, that transformation is likely to take too long for his star driver to stay hanging around.
Especially when the temptation of taking the swift route to the top is there. And that will be hard to resist – particularly when it’s the two teams who have won the last 14 constructors’ titles between them who are knocking.
Albon will no doubt be a strong candidate for the Mercedes seat that will soon be vacated by Lewis Hamilton. The Silver Arrows have a strong relationship with Williams which has only been bolstered by Vowles’ move from being one of Toto Wolff’s top lieutenants to taking charge of their customer team.
It would be interesting to see the 27-year-old go up against George Russell – both British drivers of the same generation, good friends and ambitious. But Albon’s old Red Bull team seems to be determined to not allow that to happen.
Autosport reports Red Bull, who have yet to make a decision over Sergio Perez’s future beyond the coming season, have offered him a first-option deal. Should he agree to such an arrangement, it would be a step closer to completing a return to the seat he wasn’t ready for when he was given it in 2019 – but certainly is now.
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Yes, he would also be limiting his options somewhat. But there has been no better car on the grid in the last two seasons than the one that have been built in Milton Keynes – and that seems likely to continue to be the case until at least the next major regulation change in 2026.
The attraction for Red Bull is obvious – aside from Albon’s Williams results which have been very strong. First of all, the story itself of the team’s old junior driver working his way back into his old seat is a good one to tell. The fact he is both British and Asian is also very desirable from a marketing perspective. Let’s not forget that the Yoovidhya family which controls the Red Bull parent company is, like Albon, Thai.
And, from Albon’s perspective, it feels like the time is right for him to have a proper go at driving for a top team. His friends on the grid from his fellow age group, Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc, are already in cushy race seats near the front of the grid. Make no mistake, Alex Albon is no odd one out in such company.