Alex Albon says he’s taking things as they come in Formula 1, having returned to the sport in 2022 after a year on the sidelines.
Having been demoted by Red Bull at the end of 2020, Albon played a crucial role in the team’s title success in 2021 after doing a lot of simulator and development work that aided Max Verstappen in his journey to the World Championship.
With Red Bull going out to bat for Albon on the driver market, the British-Thai racer secured a return to F1 with the Williams team for his year. While results are proving tough to come by, Albon has scored three points, and has clearly had the measure of teammate Nicholas Latifi.
Having refound his feet in Formula 1, Albon is aiming for a longer stay as he acknowledged his return to the sport is going according to plan.
“I believe it’s going very well and I want to stay, that’s my goal,” Albon told Crash.net.
“The season has started off really well. As a team, we’ve not necessarily been where we’ve wanted to be, but we’ve made the most of our opportunities to score points when it didn’t look possible.
“The racing side of things has gone really well. There was a little bit of a feeling that it was a redemption year in a sense, that’s how I wanted it to be. I want to prove to people what I can do. So far at least, obviously, it’s still very early in the season, but it’s been going really well. I definitely can’t complain.”
Explaining that he felt he had matured during his time away from a race cockpit, Albon said he feels much more relaxed in his new environment as an older and wiser driver.
“I feel like this year now I feel much more confident in driving, I feel the connection in the team, we’ve straight away gelled very quickly and, because of that, it looks like it has come from somewhere,” he said.
“But, truthfully, it just feels like just being in the right place at the right time. With the year out as well, I feel like I’ve matured and gained experience where I feel like I’m a better driver than I was before.”
Having successfully managed a return to Formula 1 – a tough feat for any driver, particularly one without a successful pedigree behind them – Albon heads off to his home race at Silverstone next week.
Already confirmed at Williams for 2023, having signed a two-year deal, Albon isn’t yet thinking about what might come afterward, and sees himself as committed to Williams in the long run.
“On my side, I only look at things very short-term,” he explained.
“Because if you think about, ‘this does this, this does that, in the future they cross over’, you think about things which have no effect on what your future is doing.
“I really just focus on the present time and, for me, I see myself as a Williams driver. My job is to extract the most out of the car and develop the car in the best way possible so that we are fighting for points more regularly and moving up in the championship.
“That’s really how I see things. Of course, things go on around [you] but it’s really about what you are doing in the now, and that’s my focus. My focus is on doing the best job possible.
“I feel like this year has gone, so far, better than I expected it to go. Hopefully, I’ll continue to get better as the chemistry between myself and the team gets stronger and stronger.”