Alex Albon was given a second chance in Formula 1 by Williams at the start of 2022, as the team looked to replace the Mercedes bound George Russell with proven quality.
The Thai driver was given the chance to step up from Toro Rosso to Red Bull midway through the 2019 season, after the energy drink giants grew tired of Pierre Gasly’s poor performances with the team.
Albon kept his seat for 2020 before the team elected to appoint Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen’s 2021 partner, leading to the 26-year-old spending a year off the grid, with it looking difficult for him to find a way back in due to his Red Bull links.
The Milton Keynes based team allowed Albon to leave the Red Bull system at the start of 2022, as he was signed by Mercedes affiliated Williams to partner Nicholas Latifi.
Williams technical director François-Xavier Demaison has suggested that while Albon has impressed and massively outshone his teammate in his debut season, he would like to see the Thai driver be more ruthless with his team outside of the cockpit.
“It was a really good help for us, because we are only engineers, and we need drivers to give us a direction. Because of his experience, it’s helped us and given us the right direction,” explained Demaison.
“He’s a nice person – sometimes too nice. He needs to be a bit more hard with the team and push us a bit more, but I’m working on this.
“It’s his nature – unless he has the helmet on, then he can be hard – but he should be a bit harder in the debrief.
“Every day I tell him, ‘You have to be a…’ – a word I will not pronounce! If you want to be a World Champion, you have to be like this.”
Albon’s first season with Williams was an impressive one, scoring points on three occasions for a team who looked resigned to the back of the grid for the majority of the season, while his teammate only scored once.
Albon will be partnered with rookie Logan Sargeant in 2023, meaning that the 26-year-old will have to step up to lead the team, which could result in this aforementioned ruthlessness naturally developing.