Alex Albon has charted the turbulent ride his Formula 1 career has taken him on to date and the recent satisfaction that has derived from being able to finally build something sustainable at Williams.
The Thai driver sustained an improbable rise upon his entry to the sport to end up in a front-running Red Bull team only midway through his rookie season in 2019, but, after struggling extensively to get on terms with a capricious car in his second year, Albon was dropped and left without a drive for the following season.
Unsure if he would ever receive another opportunity in the series following his axing, Albon was handed an F1 reprieve when an opening became available in the Williams roster last year and it was a seat that he performed admirably in across the 2022 season to eventually earn a multi-year extension.
Ahead of undergoing his second campaign with the Grove outfit in 2023, Albon has documented how the knowledge of understanding his long-term future F1 is secure has represented a welcome change and enabled him to divert his entire focus to helping Williams progress up the pecking order.
“I guess the last two years, one of those years was very stressful, and the other one being nervous, and I guess I was gearing up for the year and didn’t know what to expect,” Albon said in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“I’ve signed a contract which is maybe one of the best feelings, long term. It’s a privilege in Formula 1, if I’m honest. I’m feeling very good, feeling proud, just proud of how things have turned out.
“It’s been a bit of an up-and-down rollercoaster in Formula 1 for me, and it’s nice that I feel like I’m building now. I’m excited to be working with the team into the new year, focused on car development and what you’d consider the normal things, not worrying about having a drive.”
Although Albon settled in immediately and scored points from the back of the grid on only the third appearance of his comeback, the former Red Bull driver has now admitted to erring on the side of caution when it came to tackling his second F1 debut in Bahrain almost a year ago.
“It’s hard, because it’s nerves, it’s excitement, but it’s also that kind of stress of, ‘OK, how is it going to go? We’ve had a year away now.
“You are going to be a little bit rusty. It’s not a normal sport where you can practice in your back garden, you’ve got to keep driving.
“At the same time, I guess it’s a bit of a second chance, so you know that you have to deliver. Not many people get second chances, and I was fortunate enough to get one. The build-up was pretty good, spending time in the factory and the team, things like that.
“But as soon as you drive, that’s obviously when you feel the most comfortable, actually. It’s what you’re born to do. Once you get into the car, everything feels fine. It’s just that build up, that’s what gets your heart going.”
Leave a Reply