Alex Albon on Daniel Ricciardo getting ‘rid of the demons’

Daniel Ricciardo returned to Formula 1 with AlphaTauri last month, as Nyck de Vries was prematurely fired.

Williams driver Alex Albon has suggested that fellow Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo’s brief departure from the sport’s relentless cycle is likely to prove advantageous. 

The Australian driver left the grid at the conclusion of the previous season after enduring two lacklustre years with McLaren. 

Seeking a fresh start, Ricciardo shifted gears, joining Red Bull as their third driver. 

His brief hiatus from active competition was soon truncated, as AlphaTauri bid farewell to Nyck de Vries, who struggled to leave his imprint on the initial ten races of the season.

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Alex Albon, no stranger to the trials of F1’s rapid rotations, experienced a similar journey when demoted from Red Bull at the close of the 2021 season, followed by a year-long hiatus. 

Reflecting on the promptness of de Vries’ departure, Albon acknowledged, “Definitely happened sooner than I expected.” 

In a candid discussion with media outlets, he continued, “Clearly, they were very happy with Daniel’s test, it looks like it accelerated the decision. 

“It happened pretty soon, I know Nyck well and he is a very good driver. 

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“Ten races is an early moment to do it, I would have expected at least until the summer break. But I don’t know the reasons.”

Albon’s return to the racing scene with Williams has been nothing short of impressive, catapulting the team into the midfield contention. 

Drawing parallels between his own experience and the potential outcome for Ricciardo, Albon delved into the benefits of taking a step back. 

“I had a year out, he has had a little less but that year did help me,” he asserted. 

Amidst the whirlwind of races, Albon believes, introspection becomes challenging. 

“When you are in the circus and when things aren’t going well and you are going from race to race, you are not really able to reflect and to understand really what’s going on,” he explained metaphorically,

“You’re in the washing machine and having that time, it’s important to be able to reflect and improve, but also purely good in the sense where you get time away and you can fully reset mentally.”

Highlighting the significance of a mental reset, Albon emphasised the cleansing effect of a break. 

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“The reset is very important because you start to lose a bit of confidence and having time away, it does get rid of the demons.” 

He shared his own transformative journey during his hiatus, particularly his time in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) series. 

“I valued my time in DTM because it was actually driving something a little bit different,” he said, adding, “But it gave me confidence in a different kind of way.”