Williams’ Alex Albon has revealed that he had one or two chats about a Red Bull return this year, but they were never formal conversations.
The Thai-British driver started his career in 2019 with the junior team, Toro Rosso, before being promoted halfway through the year to replace the struggling Pierre Gasly.
Albon competed well alongside Max Verstappen, and he looked on for a podium in Brazil before being wiped out by Sir Lewis Hamilton.
The seven-time champion then arguably denied the now 26-year-old a victory in Austria in 2020, but Albon did go on to achieve two podiums that year.
Sadly for him, this was not enough to keep him at the team in what had otherwise been a slightly disappointing season, so he was dropped in favour of Sergio Perez.
He joined the AlphaTauri DTM team in 2021, winning at the Nürburgring last year while undertaking duties as test and reserve driver for the F1 team.
Albon returned this year with Williams, and his Red Bull ties have all but disappeared, particularly now that he has signed a multi-year contract with the British side.
Perez has won two races with the Milton Keynes-based outfit since his arrival, the second of which arriving at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The Mexican had just agreed a new contract before the weekend, and it was announced shortly afterwards.
Albon has spoken to one or teams about possible future opportunities since then, but none of those interactions have ever gone beyond casual chat.
“Checo got announced pretty early, before any of those conversations would ever come up,” he told racingNews365.com.
“Of course, looking down the line, there’s always [opportunities] everywhere up and down the paddock. But yeah, none of that conversation, it’s more just casual chats.”
The former Red Bull racer would be lying if he said he was not interested in one day having an affiliation with the Austrian team again.
“Red Bull have helped me from the very beginning of my career, so it would be very nice to [carry on with them], but I am kind of away from the whole family, at least for the Formula 1 side for next year,” added Albon.
“So we will have a chat. And of course, I’d love to be able to carry the [Red Bull] helmet still, but let’s see.
“Even this year, a lot of everything I’ve been doing is pretty focused on Williams. I haven’t done any sim or stuff at Red Bull; I’ve just focused on myself.
“And at the same time, I’m sure the guys at Red Bull are very busy trying to win championships!”
Red Bull adviser, Dr Helmut Marko, is known to be ruthless with his junior talent, but Albon divulged that he still has a positive relationship with the former BRM driver, as well as team principal, Christian Horner.
“I think people would be surprised, but he still keeps a very good relationship with all the drivers that he works with,” he stated.
“He’s always interested to see how it’s going, how I’m feeling this year, and that kind of thing.
“Obviously, less involvement than in previous years, but we still talk, and then the same with Christian, I have a good relationship with all of them, we still get on well, so it’s good.
“I guess it’s a bit more casual, the conversations now, rather than pure business.”
Albon has scored points three times in 2022, and after he was forced to sit out the Italian Grand prix due to appendicitis, his replacement, Nyck de Vries, also finished in the top 10.
That result cast further doubt around the future of Nicholas Latifi, who is out of contract at the end of the season, and is now 21st in the championship having finished 15th in Monza.