Former Red Bull driver Alexander Albon believes that the Williams team works in a “very similar way” to Red Bull, but still feels he is ultimately playing catch up to team mate Nicholas Latifi, due to the differing characteristics of the two teams’ cars.
The Thai driver is going into his first season at the British team after a 2021 season in DTM, and as Red Bull’s reserve driver. Albon, who has twice stood on the podium in Formula 1, feels that the team’s themselves, even though utilising different people in different ways, operate alike in many areas.
“They’re very similar, the way that Formula 1 teams are structured now as well they’ve kind of got very similar structures within them so I honestly can’t tell you a standout with either of them [Red Bull or Williams] which I think is a good thing,” said Albon to media including FormulaRapida.net.
“It’s very professional and very positive within the engineering group who I’m working with trackside at Williams, it all feels good and we’re in a good position where we can start already focusing on performance.
“The structures internally are slightly different in terms of how many people are working in what areas of the team and things like that, how they designate jobs at the track and things like that. So no, obviously they’re working in a very similar way and if there was something that stood out I would tell you but there honestly isn’t.”
Albon is going into only his third season in F1, having joined Toro Rosso for 2019 in a late deal and subsequently being promoted to the Red Bull team only a few months later. He would spend one and a half seasons beside Verstappen before being dropped to reserve for 2021.
Red Bull have since helped him secure George Russell’s Williams seat after the Brit left to join Mercedes, allowing Albon to continue his F1 career progression by gaining valuable experience. “Experience helps, that’s clear, and I’ve been in Red Bull and I’ve been in a good position to learn a lot from the guys there and inevitably I can bring that knowledge into Williams,” he claims.
“But there’s only so much you can give… and things that work for me or things I would do in a Red Bull doesn’t necessarily translate to the Williams.” He instead has found himself leaning on the advice of his new teammate, and good friend Russell, in order to smooth the settling in process into the new team and new car.
“I have this two years of experience, which isn’t a lot but it’s more than a lot of people, but I found myself also listening to Nicky [Nicholas Latifi] a lot and seeing [what] his comments are,” said Albon. “The cars, even though they are so new, I always feel like cars carry a DNA, the characteristics of cars always remain in some ways similar, and I think just hearing Nicky’s comments you can tell that.
“So I do feel coming into Williams I have that opportunity to be more decisive and more vocal in areas that I feel like we can improve on, but otherwise there’s the other half which is still playing catch up and learning what the team has to say, what Nicky has to say and even what George [Russell] has to say.”
As he starts his new journey, Albon received full praise from his new boss Jost Capito. “I’m very impressed, he is very good on the information he gives on evaluating the car,” he said to media including FormulaRapida.net.
“He is quite calm. He has a very good feeling for the car. He worked well with the engineers and with the overall team. I think is the right balance between nice guy and when he is in the car, he understands it. He’s pushing and he is a fighter. I expected him to be really good within the team, but he exceeded my expectations.”
The story was written by Danny Herbert
Here’s Alexander Albon and others on 18-inches tyres