Williams backed Alex Albon to excel at a team ‘where he is loved’

Sam Cooper
Williams driver Alex Albon arrives in the paddock. France July 2022.

Williams driver Alex Albon walks through the paddock as he's filmed by a team member. France July 2022.

Jost Capito believed he could get the best out of Alex Albon by bringing him to a Williams team “where he is loved.”

Albon spent a year out of the sport having become the latest driver to find the second Red Bull hot-seat just a little too hot and, having served as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver for the 2021 season, he made the switch back into full-time F1 with Williams for the 2022 campaign.

The team has undergone a great deal of change in recent years. They have been bought out, the Williams family has relinquished control and Capito has been brought in to try and restore the fortunes of the team which has finished last in the Constructors’ Championships in three of the past four years.

With George Russell making his long-speculated move to Mercedes, one of Capito’s toughest tasks was to find a new driver and he plumped for Albon.

The British-Thai driver has impressed since his return, producing a masterclass in tyre preservation to earn a point in Australia before following that up with a P9 in Miami two races later.

While that remains the last of his point-scoring races this season, he has comfortably outperformed his team-mate Nicholas Latifi.

Capito said he always knew Albon had talent and that he just needed the right conditions to thrive.

“I think it was clear that he’s good, otherwise, he would never been in the Red Bull,” Capito said, as per GPFans.com.

“He did very well beside Max [Verstappen] – you know how good Max is – he did very well, and the team is around Max, isn’t it? It’s very difficult for every second driver in Red Bull.

“We expected quite a lot of him. We believed if he gets to us, the team where he’s loved, where he has a major role, then he can even excel and can even get better. I think that is exactly what happened.”

Albon spent a considerable amount of time at the factory last year rather than on the track but Capito reckons that has helped his understanding of the sport.

“What surprised me is that he has been not in the seat last year, but has been at most of the races, and has seen the dynamics of a team, how the driver influenced the engineers,” said Capito.

“He’s been with the engineers, sees how they apply the information of the driver, what normally a driver never gets.

“Maybe the disadvantage he had not being in the seat… the advantage, he had to understand how a team really works. That’s really valuable.”

Alex Albon vs Nicholas Latifi: A one-sided team-mate battle so far

Drivers have often said the one person you want to beat on track is your team-mate. After all, of the 19 other competitors they are the only ones using the same machinery and therefore the only ones you can test yourself against. For Albon, it is proving to be not much of a test at all.

In pretty much every statistic, it is the former Red Bull man who comes out on top.

Most points, best race finish, 11 times a better qualifier, 10 times a better race finish. These kind of figures make for excellent reading for Albon, worrying for Latifi and a cause for contemplation for Capito.

It is not the first time Latifi has been resoundly beaten by the man on the other side of the garage. Before his move to Mercedes, Russell comfortably outclassed Latifi at pretty much every opportunity and thoughts must now turn as to whether the Canadian should keep his seat.

While Williams does enjoy a reported $30 million for having him in the team, if Capito wants to move the team forward, he may have to act now.


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