Alex Albon believes the time he has spent working on 2022 cars in the simulator will give him an advantage next season.
The Thai driver will return to the grid next season, replacing George Russell at Williams with the Briton heading to Mercedes.
While the 2022 season-opener will be the first race he takes part in since the 2020 finale, he has still been very much involved in the world of F1 as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver.
In that role, Albon has spent a lot of time helping the team prepare their car for the 2022 campaign, and he thinks that will give him an edge over his fellow drivers.
“Yes,” he told The Race when asked whether the experience would give him an advantage next season.
“And with the tyres as well because Williams haven’t had the fortune of being able to test the 18-inch tyre. So hopefully I can bring that knowledge to them.
“It will be important to use the knowledge I’ve gained this year and use it to help them develop the car at a quicker rate next year.”
I can’t tell you how good it feels to say.. I’m joining @WilliamsRacing for 2022!! The most sincere thank you to Jost and everyone at Williams for trusting me with this opportunity and of course @redbullracing especially Christian and Dr. Marko for making this possible. pic.twitter.com/c0NhSQLd0L
— Alex Albon (@alex_albon) September 8, 2021
Albon lost his spot on the grid after being outperformed by team-mate Max Verstappen in 2020, with Red Bull opting to replace him with Sergio Perez.
One of his biggest issues that year was his Saturday performances, rarely able to get anywhere near the Dutchman in qualifying.
Improving that area is one of his big aims for next season.
“There are definitely things I could have done differently going into this year from last year, just in terms of feedback and understanding where the performance is in the car,” said Albon.
“That’s really important and something which takes time and laps to understand. Each car has its own characteristics on heavy fuel, light fuel, going into qualifying there’s lots of things that change which I feel like with the right steps I could have extracted a better performance.
“But that’s all knowledge now that I have in the bank and I feel like I can use that for next year. It feels like, generally speaking last year, free practices were pretty okay, it was always just the qualifying where I struggled a bit.
“I know that now and I think going into next year I can use it.”