After the departure of George Russell to Mercedes following the 2021 season, Williams were on the hunt for a driver with proven ability to partner Nicholas Latifi under the new regulations, but also with the potential to improve with the team.
The team managed to find this dream combination in the form of Alex Albon, who had spent a year away from the sport following his release from Red Bull at the end of the 2020 season.
Red Bull allowed their former driver to leave their system to race for the Mercedes partnered Williams, after it became clear that the Thai would not make a return to either AlphaTauri or Red Bull in the future.
The 26-year-old impressed so much in his debut season with Toro Rosso back in 2019 that he was promoted to the Red Bull senior team to replace the struggling Pierre Gasly.
Albon failed to live up to the standards of his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and was replace by Sergio Perez after only a season and a half with the energy drink giants.
The Thai driver’s first season back in F1 was fully of ups and downs as Williams struggled to adapt to the new era of Formula 1, but Albon has made the bold claim that despite only scoring four points for his new team, 2022 was his best year yet in the sport.
“I think it’s been a tricky one in some respects,” said Albon when asked to reflect on his debut year with Williams.
“I feel like personally speaking, it’s been a very positive year. I think it’s been my strongest year in F1. I haven’t done many years, but out of the three, it’s my strongest one.
“I believe that the main thing is just the confidence with the car, more than anything it’s the driving confidence, I feel like I’ve got that back, which is the most Important because obviously, you’ve got to drive quickly.”
Albon will be taking up a more senior role with Williams in 2023, as the team have decided to replace Nicholas Latifi with 21-year-old Logan Sargeant after the American acquired the number of super licence points needed to race in F1.
With Jost Capito leaving his role as team principal of Williams, a lot of responsibility will be on Albon’s shoulders in 2023 as the team look to become a points challenging team once again.