Williams seeking permission for Albon to join before end of year

2021 F1 season

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Williams intend to open discussions with Red Bull over whether Alexander Albon can begin work for them immediately after the final race of the current season.

Albon, Red Bull’s reserve driver, is due to join Williams’ race team next year in place of George Russell, who is heading to Mercedes. Williams CEO Jost Capito is hopeful his new driver can arrive as soon as the chequered flag drops on the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 12th.

“The contract, of course, starts in January,” Capito explained. “But I think we will talk to Red Bull and say what can we [do], does he stop working for you after the last race?

“Because he does a lot of sim race preparation. They [stop] after the last race and then can [he] get involved with us?”

Albon will not have any formal ties to the Red Bull team once he joins Williams, Capito confirmed. “We always say that he is a full Williams driver with no contract with Red Bull,” he said.

However Albon will continue to carry Red Bull branding on his crash helmet. “What he has is Red Bull Thailand, this is his personal sponsor involved through his career,” said Capito. “He has the right to have personal sponsors so he will keep Red Bull as a personal sponsor. But it’s not a Red Bull-Williams connection.”

Because of Albon’s ties to Red Bull, Williams’ involvement with him has been minimal since he signed for the team last month, head of performance engineering Dave Robson explained.

“We’ve had some time with him but he remains their driver for the end of this season,” he said. “So there’s very little we can talk to him about at the moment.

“We’ve had a few introductions but not much beyond that. So most of that is going to wait until until the end of the season when he’s no longer on Red Bull duty.”

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17 comments on “Williams seeking permission for Albon to join before end of year”

  1. Makes sense to get Albon “into the loop” at Williams as soon as possible yeah. So far I don’t see any good reasons for RB not to let him go, since they were happy to help him find this drive for next season

    1. He probably knows all Homda secrets..

      I wonder how much test drivers know?

      1. The drivers only now what they need to know – how to use it.
        But even if shown all blueprints, they would not be able to make any sense of it, I’m sure.

  2. Because he does a lot of sim race preparation

    Which he could still continue to do if he was still connected to Redbull even if working for Williams.

  3. I read this headline thinking Latifis’ cheque bounced.

  4. I’ve read Capito’s words elsewhere before, so them appearing here this long afterward is surprising.
    Anyway, his point about RB reference is pretty clear cut, so people shouldn’t misinterpret him.
    If (not yet a given) he has anything on his helmet, merely a brand division separate from the F1 team.
    Drivers having personal sponsor logos that their teammates didn’t at the time is nothing new.
    For example, Sainz has Estrella Galicia. Hulkenberg & Bottas used to have Dekra & Kemppi, respectively, etc., so nothing different.

    1. I always expected Albon to have Red Bull branding on his suit/helmet as personal sponsor.

  5. It will be interesting to see how Albon performs with a new team. This will his last stab at F1 career, which I’m sure he realises. Hopefully he can really shine and get his career corrected. I think he should have take an Alpha Tauri seat this year, instead of losing a year.

    1. I hope he does well. Russell has set such a high benchmark that I doubt he will be able to match initially.

  6. I have said this many times but this loaning (drivers) effect is cause of lack of teams. As the saying goes The more the merrier. F1 needs more teams but it seems that there needs to be more and more funding and it is impossible just to build up a team from scratch.

  7. What he has is Red Bull Thailand, this is his personal sponsor involved through his career,” said Capito. “He has the right to have personal sponsors so he will keep Red Bull as a personal sponsor.

    As Honda imposed Tsunoda to AT, RedBull sponsored him to get into a Williams, so RedBull bosses are happy to have a driver from Thailand in F1.

    Wonder how much Williams is going to cash in from hiring Albon.

    1. RedBull as drink company.

      1. A “Fizzy Drinks” company as some have referred to it. One heck of a successful Fizzy Drinks company too.
        Is there not some testing time after the last race.? Usually there is.
        If RB and Williams can work out the insurance details, I would expect that Williams will want to get him into the car ASAP and after the last race will be a bonus if they can do it.
        Yes the cars are different next year, but the controls, power unit and brakes will all be different to what AA has dealt with up till now. A great move for Williams and for AA.

  8. At least according to Wikipedia (so that that with a ton of salt) but Red Bull Thailand, or Krating Daeng, really is a completely separate company to the “red bull” that we know of. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krating_Daeng

    1. According to the same Wikipedia, Mr
      Chaleo Yoovidhya
      Owns 51% of Red Bull gmbh,
      Dietrich Mateschitz owns 49%.

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