Albon lost the car keys on day one at Williams

Jon Wilde
Alex Albon with hand on head at the Qatar GP. Lusail November 2021.

Alex Albon with his hand on his head in the paddock at the Qatar Grand Prix. Lusail November 2021.

Alex Albon has described an embarrassing incident during his first working day at Williams – which fortunately ended favourably.

The London-born Thai driver is starting to settle into life as a Williams driver, back on the Formula 1 grid after a year’s absence having been dropped by Red Bull in favour of Sergio Perez.

Williams ensured Albon’s time on the sidelines would be no longer than he had hoped as they chose him to succeed Mercedes-bound George Russell, helped by a personal recommendation from his friend and rival who had spent the past three seasons with the Grove-based team.

On Wednesday January 19, Albon spent his first day at the factory in Oxfordshire, having his seat fit and engineering meetings as he began getting to know his new colleagues.

But at one point as he moved around the factory, the 25-year-old suddenly had that horrible realisation we all dread – he had mislaid his car keys.

“I already lost my car keys on the first day but we did find them, which was great,” said Albon.

“I thought I had left them on the dinner tray so I was about to look in the garbage cans, but fortunately they were just down the side of the sofa in the simulator room. So a trip to the garbage was saved.”

At least Albon would have had no shortage of helpers to find the missing keys, even if calling all of them by the right name might have been a challenge.

“Some people see Williams as an intimate team but it’s still massive,” he said. “There’s still a lot of people there, from marketing to aero, the machine shop to accounting – it’s a big team.

“I saw a lot of new faces and I’m not quite sure I’ll remember everyone’s names but it was great to meet everyone. It’s a very international team and there are a lot of names I haven’t quite got in my head yet, but that will come!

“Other than that, I got to meet my side of the garage in terms of engineering and through the simulator work. We learnt how we do our business, what makes me click and what makes them click.”


Turning 26 in the midweek between the opening two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Albon believes he now has the knowhow to grasp the nettle with Williams and push the team forward.

“It will be my third year in F1 but I feel like I gained a lot of experience over my time,” he added. “I’m not this rookie coming into it now, I know what I’m doing and what I want.

“It’s great to be able to work with this team who will listen to me, we will listen to each other and try to get the most out of this car.”


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