Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says it would be “tricky” for Alexander Albon to be linked with Red Bull and return to Formula 1 with Williams.
Albon has been connected to Red Bull since 2019 and currently holds the position of test and reserve driver, having lost his race seat to Sergio Perez.
Red Bull has retained Perez for 2022 and is expected to continue with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri.
Red Bull has previously indicated that it is keen for Albon – currently racing in DTM – to return to the Formula 1 grid in 2022.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner outlined on Friday that both Alfa Romeo and Williams have expressed an interest in Albon, with Williams deemed a likelier destination, amid George Russell’s expected switch to Williams.
But Wolff, whose Mercedes outfit supplies power units to Williams, has suggested that Albon will have to cut any ties with Red Bull.
“It’s one thing about the power unit and I think Albon, as I said yesterday, is a driver that deserves a seat in Formula 1,” said Wolff.
“But it’s tricky to have a 100 per cent Red Bull driver on a Mercedes power unit. So, happy to work with him, as long as they let him free from his Red Bull contract.
“And on the other side, we’re supporting Nyck de Vries obviously, and he’s in talks with Williams, to get the seat there. So there’s quite some balls in the air.”
Expanding further on the situation, Wolff said: “Alex is in regular contact with Gwen Lagrue, who is running our Mercedes junior programme, and they were discussing with James Vowles, our head of strategy, the opportunities for next year.
“Things get always… tweaked, in a way. He wasn’t told to do or not do anything, it was just exploring the opportunities for Alex and for Nyck in an amicable way between Alex and the group.”