Alexander Albon, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Albon feels ‘back in control on the limit’ after losing confidence at Red Bull

2022 Formula 1 season

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Alexander Albon described how he has regained the confidence he lost during his unsuccessful stint at Red Bull in 2020.

The Williams driver made a successful return to the F1 grid this year, earning a multi-year contract extension with his new team.

Albon joined the F1 grid in 2019 with Red Bull’s second team Toro Rosso (now known as AlphaTauri) and was promoted to its main squad halfway through his rookie season. He remained in the team’s line-up for 2020 but struggled to perform against team mate Max Verstappen.

Red Bull demoted Albon to a reserve driver role in 2021 as well as placing him in Germany’s DTM series for GT3 sportscars in an AlphaTauri-branded team. In September that year he secured an F1 return with Williams for 2022, while retaining a link to Red Bull.

In the second half of his comeback campaign, Albon then signed a deal that secured a long-term future in F1 as a Williams driver. That, Albon recently revealed, was ultimately the goal of his 2022 season.

“Truthfully, the main thing I wanted, when I got back into F1, was to stay in F1,” Albon said. “That sounds like a very silly thing to say, but it is true.

“You have a one-year contract, there’s no guarantee [of another]. And that box has been firmly ticked, let’s say.”

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He said he has restored his self-confidence after his year-and-a-half at Red Bull. “In terms of myself, in terms of driving and getting that confidence back behind the wheel, basically getting into the rhythm of the car and feeling like I’m in control on the limit, I really do feel like I’ve got that bit back,” he said.

“It was something which I kind of lost a little bit towards the end of that 2020 season. When you’re driving a DTM car, it’s a completely different thing. You can’t really gauge where you’re at.

“Now I really do feel like I’m driving well. And a lot of that is down to confidence in the car, and that again is something which I feel like I’ve ticked.”

With two races left of the season, Albon currently sits 19th in the championship standings and has three points finishes to his name, contributing half of Williams’ total points tally from the year.

“I do feel like I’ve done a good job this year and I feel like I proved myself to what I know I can do,” he said. “Of course I still want to push on and still do good results and impress and show the team what I can do.

“But for this year, having the year out, and all things considered, I feel like it’s been a positive year. I feel like this has maybe even gone better than I expected it to.”

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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20 comments on “Albon feels ‘back in control on the limit’ after losing confidence at Red Bull”

  1. “Now I really do feel like I’m driving well. And a lot of that is down to confidence in the car, and that again is something which I feel like I’ve ticked.”

    Let’s put Max Verstappen in the second Williams car and we shall see how “well” you are driving Alex. For me, you are “well” over 0.5s off what your car is truly capable of.

    1. It was just the car didn’t suit him, I think he could beat Crashstappen.

    2. Armchair noob thinks that because Max can be 0.5s faster on the Red Bull he can be 0.5s faster on any car lol

      1. He has a point though in that he’s being compared to 2 completely different drivers in terms of speed. But it’s an experiment I’d like to see for a couple of races to see where he’s at.

        1. I think that is an experiment we would all love to see.
          Problem is reality keeps getting in the way and the best we can do from our arm-chairs is yell at the TV and ask “what if”.
          Albon is doing well, but long term, both he and Williams need to start moving up the grid, and next year will not be too soon.

      2. Yes, that’s what truly great drivers (the best driver in this case) can do. If you don’t believe Max holds significant pace advantage over Albon no matter what car they are in, it’s fine. For now all we know is that a rookie driver can hop in his Williams car without any mileage and score the same best result as Albon managed to do in 19 races.

    3. Perez beat many times early in the year, but then RedBull made the car to Max’s liking. So much about him being 0.5 s faster.

      1. Even when Max was struggling a little bit in qualifying he was still beating Perez not only on Saturday, but also on Sunday. Maybe you should check out their pace in, I don’t know, Baku to see what kind of difference Max can make.

      2. The red bull was overweight and understeery at the start of the season. It is easier to drive a car that understeers at its limit which is why Perez was on a similar level. However once the red bull dropped the weight it became faster but more oversteer dominant, which max could handle better than Perez so the gap is greater than earlier in the season.

        1. You cannot effectively drive a car with understeer. It is not easier. There is no compensation for understeer.
          Oversteer on the other hand can be handled easly by a driver.

        2. Yep. And who guarantees he wouldn’t find a Williams car that is similar or worse on that regard than the Red Bull he got earlier this year?

          That’s why assuming he would do this or that is a waste of time. You don’t know.

  2. You are only beating Goatifi….. Anyone with him as a team mate will get a confidence boost..

    1. He should be able to beat Sargeant fairly easy as well

      1. I Recon it Will far harder to beat him to what he thinks…even so beating Sargeant on his first season is not the biggest achievement. More sooner than later he’ll be without a seat

  3. Now I really do feel like I’m driving well. And a lot of that is down to confidence in the car

    Presumably that’s confidence that the car won’t go too fast for him, like the RBR car did.
    Sorry, but I see him as an average driver and Latifi as somewhat less than average

  4. The fact he got replaced by a driver who made his F1 debut at Monza this year, whom immediately matched Albon’s best finish of the season, shows to me what an average driver he is. He is lucky he has got the worst driver in F1 to be his teammate. That’s what is giving him confidence.

    1. George literally had a handicapped Kubica and Latifi as teammates and is hardly a tenth off Hamilton on average pace throughout the season. And Albon’s gaps to Latifi are way bigger than George’s to Latifi.

      Maybe things aren’t that binary.

    2. Monza is exactly the circuit that was going to suit the Williams best all year. Nyck was the beneficiary of grid penalties when the car should’ve easily been in Q3 and the car’s straightline speed kept people behind him at bay, around arguably the least most technical circuit on the calendar. Albon would’ve put that car into Q3 and finished P6/7. On every other circuit that car is nowhere, Alex himself just makes it look quick when it has barely any downforce yet always finishes near the points. I think Nyck’s the average one here not Alex..

  5. There is no such thing as making a car for someone’s liking. There is such engineering concept.

    Perez beat many times… 3 out of the first 10 races. Does not seem like a beat to me.

    1. Already better than 1 out of 22 last year. Your point?

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