Capito backs Albon to grow into new team leader

Date published: December 26 2021 - Henry Valantine

Alex Albon speaking with Jost Capito. Qatar November 2021

Williams team boss Jost Capito says Alex Albon can take up the team leader mantle left behind by George Russell next season.

Former Red Bull driver Albon has been given a second chance in Formula 1 as he will head to Williams to partner Nicholas Latifi in 2022, following his friend and rival Russell’s move to Mercedes.

Russell had held a near-monopoly in qualifying and race head-to-head records in his three years with Williams, and Albon will reunite with his ex-Formula 2 team-mate Latifi at the Grove-based outfit next season.

The team principal admitted the drivers will have big shoes to fill with the soon-t0-be Mercedes driver leaving, given his success with the team, but remains “convinced” Albon will be able to do a good job in his place.

Alex Albon at Hockenheim. Germany October 2021

“I think we are losing a team leader and he grew into that role over the three years,” Capito told GPFans.

“He’s such a strong personality and such a fantastic driver I’m sure he will lead every team he will ever drive for – maybe not right from the beginning, but he develops himself in that position and he’s absolutely great in this.

“He’s a great counterpart for every team principal to develop the team further.

“With that, I’m sure we are losing a really great team leader, but I’m also convinced with Alex we get a really good driver who can develop himself into the same role.”

There were plenty of candidates to take on the seat at Williams next season following the announcement of Russell’s Mercedes move, with most teams opting to retain their current line-up.

But when it comes to how Albon managed to separate himself from the other candidates, the team principal explained his personality and work ethic will be of benefit to Williams next year – agreeing with team advisor Jenson Button that Albon and the team can “grow together”.

 

“He’s very team-orientated,” Capito explained. “I think if you are a Formula 1 driver you have to have a big ego, but it’s still very balanced and he’s very interested, very hungry to race again, and I think his personality matches with the Williams family personality and family behaviour.

“I think Williams can get the best out of Alex.”