Norris and Russell: ‘It’s cool to have Albon back’

Henry Valantine
George Russell, Alex Albon and Lando Norris.

George Russell, Alex Albon and Lando Norris speak on the grid together in 2019.

Lando Norris and George Russell both spoke about their pleasure at seeing their long-time friend and rival Alex Albon get a seat at Williams for 2022.

The Red Bull reserve driver has taken the seat which Russell will vacate at the end of the year, as he makes the move to Mercedes next season.

The trio have come through the motorsport ranks together, and all made their debuts in Formula 1 at the same time. After Albon was dropped by Red Bull for this season, McLaren driver Norris said he’s looking forward to having the Thai-British driver back on the grid for more battles next year.

“I mean, obviously it doesn’t change much for me, but I like Alex – he’s one of my good mates,” Norris told “I respect him a lot and think he’s a very good driver.

“So, just for him to get that second opportunity in Formula 1 is, I think, a good thing. I hope he can do well and show everyone what he’s got.

“Just between us three [Norris, Albon and Russell], we’ve done a lot of interviews together and videos and things, and we’ve had a lot of fun.

“We’ve kind of grown up together in a way, so it’s just nice because they’re people I know, and I respect them a lot. It’s cool to have him back.”

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Russell was asked about Williams’ choice to sign Albon, and he “confirmed” to the team that the 25-year-old was the right man for the job, and that he’s “extremely happy” to see his friend in Formula 1 again.

“Alex is a fantastic driver,” Russell told The Race. “He had a tough time at Red Bull. But I think he’s going to come back even stronger.

“He’s always been there in everything he’s ever done. I’m sure the environment at Williams is going to suit him down to a tee and he’s going to perform really well. I truly believe he deserves a chance on this grid.

“I really think he’s one of the best drivers, even though he had a really tough time at Red Bull and I think Williams is absolutely the right place for him to go and develop.

“I’ve been there for the past three years, I know how the team are, know how Jost [Capito, Williams CEO] operates, and I know Alex really well.

“I’m sure they’ll be a successful combination.”


Williams confirm their 2022 driver lineup!

Alex Albon will drive alongside Nicholas Latifi for Williams in 2022.