Dutch racer Tom Coronel believes Alex Albon is a driver who may have what it takes to become Formula 1 World Champion with a car also up to the task.
Albon made his return to Formula 1 in 2022 with Williams, the Anglo-Thai driver making his comeback to the grid after a year on the sidelines as Red Bull reserve driver.
For a year-and-a-half before that, he had struggled as team-mate to Red Bull’s star driver Max Verstappen, but Albon was swiftly able to rebuild his confidence upon linking-up with Williams, earning a multi-year contract extension with the team during an impressive first season.
Since their time as team-mates, Verstappen has gone on to become a two-time World Champion, seemingly on course to make that three in F1 2023, and Coronel could foresee Albon also joining that exclusive list of F1 champs if the right car comes up.
“I would like to see Alex Albon in a real car,” said Coronel on the RacingNews365.com Formula 1 podcast.
“Red Bull, that was too early. Experience also gives something.”
Coronel would compare the potential achievement for Albon to what Nico Rosberg pulled-off back in 2016.
Lewis Hamilton had triumphed over his Mercedes team-mate Rosberg in the title pursuit for the past two seasons, but Rosberg would come out on top in what was their final season together in Mercedes colours, Rosberg retiring from Formula 1 for good off the back of his title success.
“If you have the better car and a bit of luck. Nico Rosberg also became champion,” Coronel added.
Williams would love to give Alex Albon that chance
Williams are right up there with the very best when it becomes to success achieved in Formula 1, the team boasting nine Constructors’ titles across their illustrious history, plus a very impressive seven Drivers’ crowns.
Such glory days have since dried up, Williams in fact without a win since Pastor Maldonando took the chequered flag at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, but the situation is now looking far more positive for the Grove outfit.
Following the takeover by Dorilton Capital a few years ago, Williams are slowly repairing the damage of past budget struggles, and the fact that Albon in his most recent outing made Q3 on merit at the Australian GP, and was running comfortably inside the top 10 before crashing out, represents impressive progress for the team that has finished last in the Constructors’ standings in four of the past five seasons.
The Formula 1 budget cap in play these days is designed to bring teams like Williams into the mix, and if the team can provide Albon with a car to put him anywhere near the title scene, then the question becomes is he good enough to get the job done?
Really, it feels like we would need such a situation to play out to have any sort of idea, whether it was with Williams or not, in order to truly asses whether Albon has that level of performance in him away from the pressures of the Red Bull environment.
One thing is for sure, Williams and the Formula 1 fans would love to see Albon get the chance to try.