IndyCar would have been preferred ‘plan B’ for Albon

Date published: September 20 2021 - Henry Valantine

Alex Albon smiles in his DTM garage. September 2021.

Had he not signed with Williams for next season, Alex Albon said his preferred route for 2022 would have been a taking up a drive in IndyCar.

Albon recently went to Indianapolis to experience IndyCar in the flesh as he assessed his options for 2022, before being awarded George Russell’s soon-to-be vacated seat at Williams for next year.

The current Red Bull reserve driver also took the time to catch up with former Haas driver Romain Grosjean on his travels, and the Frenchman was said to be acting as a “salesman” to try and convince the 25-year-old to head Stateside next season.

Albon is racing in DTM alongside his F1 commitments this season, and he admitted he had been keeping his options open for 2021.

Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon, 2022 Williams drivers.

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“Yes I did and you have to as well,” Albon told Motorsport.com when asked if he had seriously considered a move elsewhere.

“You think about F1, but FE was also in consideration. You can plan as much as you want for F1, but if it doesn’t happen, then you will have nothing. You can’t play that game where it’s all or nothing.

“So I had to think about a plan B route: and those two [series] came to mind. IndyCar at the time attracted me more so than FE.

“I went to Indianapolis to watch the racing and I liked it. I obviously had a chat with Romain as well, and it looked exciting. But my priority was always F1.

“The other thing about that is that F1 can wait, because the decisions happen quite late compared to other series. So it was quite a tricky balance to have when you’re trying to keep options open for the F1 seats while the movement, the musical chairs, was still happening.”

Albon previously said that he could only afford one year out of Formula 1 if he was to get himself back on the grid, and now he has the chance to do so alongside Nicholas Latifi next year.

He admitted that he’s been frustrated at being left out of the action on the grid this year, but he feels that he’s been able to grow from the experience as a result.

“It’s been a year to reflect as well on things, things that I could change and learn from 2020,” he said. “It’s been, at the same time, quite a tricky year. Just watching on the sidelines is never fun.

“But it built my hunger, and obviously I’m very thankful and very excited to be getting back into it.”