Alexander Albon, Williams, Interlagos, 2022

Albon told to be “harder” with his team to get the best out of them

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Alexander Albon has been told to demand more from his Williams team if he wants to be Formula 1 world champion in the future.

The former Red Bull and AlphaTauri driver joined Williams this year. He has been their leading points-scorer and was given a new, multi-year deal in August.

Williams technical officer FX Demaison praised the contribution Albon has made since joining them this year but said he needs to push them harder to get the car more to his liking.

“[He] was a really good help for us because we are only engineers, we need a driver to give us a direction,” said Demaison in today’s FIA press conference. “His experience… helped us and has given us the right direction. So it’s really a good help.”

Albon is “a nice person, sometimes too nice,” said Demaison. “But [he] needs to be sometimes a bit more hard with the team and push us a bit more. But we are working on this.”

He does tend to be more forceful in race situations, Demaison admitted. “When he has the helmet on, yes, he can be hard but it should be a bit more harder in debriefs,” he said. “I explain [to] him, everyday I tell him you have to be – a word I will not pronounce – but if you want to be a world champion, you have to be like this.”

Before joining Williams, Albon spent a year as Red Bull’s reserve driver, prior to which he raced alongside current world champion Max Verstappen at the team for a year and a half.

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Red Bull’s chief engineer Paul Monaghan said they had been satisfied with Albon’s feedback during his time at the team, despite relegating him from their race line-up at the end of 2020.

Albon “should be a bit more harder in debriefs” – Demaison

“Thinking back to Alex’s time with us he came across as a very conscientious, polite, gifted driver and he had a pretty good idea of what he wanted from the car straight off,” said Monaghan. “He knew when it wasn’t to his liking and could tell you what was to his disliking. We didn’t always manage to give him a car that was adequate for his wants.

“Obviously he had a pretty rapid team mate, which puts a little bit more pressure on him, and he handled that, I thought, exceptionally well for a young driver.”

Monaghan admitted Albon was “frustrated” when he was left out of an F1 race seat last year but was “able to deal with his situation” and “was learning and worked with us.”

“Now he’s come back with FX’s team and it’s nice to see him nearer the front of the grid,” Monaghan added. “It’s nice to see the progress and it’s nice to see them scoring points.

“So full credit to Alex for enduring a reasonably tough time, learning, not being despondent and pushing himself on to achieve what his talents deserve. So many congratulations to him and long may his growth in sport continue.”

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2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Albon told to be “harder” with his team to get the best out of them”

  1. That is always the impression I have got from him. Nice kid, but ultimately lacks that real edge, that slightly self-absorbed confidence that the top drivers have. The elbows out, answer questions later mentality.

  2. Albon is “a nice person, sometimes too nice, … But [he] needs to be sometimes a bit more hard with the team and push us a bit more. But we are working on this.

    Demaison needs to have another look in the mirror. I have no idea how good Frank Williams was as a driver, but he knew how to lead Williams. I don’t know how good Bernie was as a driver, but he knew how to lead F1. The same goes for most of the Team Principals in F1, their job is to lead the team, not to drive the car. Driving a car is different from driving a team. F1 is a team sport. Alex’s job is to drive his car to the best of his ability, but is it his job to tell people how to do their job? That’s the job of Jost Capito and Demaison. Their job is to drive the team.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      12th November 2022, 18:07

      But at the same time the driver does help drive the team. One of the reasons why Jordan won in Spa was Damon Hill insisting after qualifying they knuckle down and work out their strategy for the race and not go hob nobbing with their supporters club

      So there are times when the driver has to be a hard ass

      1. Mmm, spa 1998 was pretty much an elimination race, who would they have finished behind otherwise?

  3. “We are only engineers, we need a driver to give us a direction,” said Demaison.

    What is Albon supposed to do? Study aerodynamics and mechanical engineering so he can explain to the engineers why the car doesn’t have the same grip, cornering ability, downforce, and drag as the Red Bull? Isn’t that supposed to be Demaison’s job?

  4. I have an opinion
    13th November 2022, 0:17

    “We are only (Williams) engineers, Albon needs to tell us all the Red Bull Secrets if he wants us to win.”

  5. Maybe he doesn’t want to be world champion. Anyone who did that with Williams usually got fired…

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