It was Alex Albon’s F1 experience that saw him take the Williams seat ahead of Nyck de Vries, revealed Jost Capito.
With George Russell off to Mercedes to partner Lewis Hamilton in 2022, Williams had been on the hunt for a new driver with Albon and Formula E champ de Vries on the short list.
Red Bull were keen to get Albon into the seat while Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff was pulling for his driver, de Vries, Mercedes’ Formula E champ.
But having weighed up all the pros and cons between two drivers who both “deserve a seat in Formula 1”, Williams went with Albon.
Capito explained to Motorsport.com the reasoning behind his decision.
“I think I have got a long-lasting relationship with Toto,” said the Williams boss. “We have got a huge respect of each other and I think he understands our needs as well.
“Of course Nyck is his driver in Formula E. I think he is happy if he is in Formula E for another season, I think he [feels] not too bad about this.
“But on the other hand, I think Nyck would deserve a seat in Formula 1, there is no doubt.
“Just for us, when we have to balance between youth and experience, then Alex has an advantage over Nyck.
“But it doesn’t mean that Nyck would have been worse in the seat next year. It doesn’t mean that at all.
“I think Toto at the end, he understands and we understand that we are not a B-team and we are not a satellite team, and that we have to take the decisions that are right for us.
“Toto fully respects that. And he also is fully aware of the capability that Alex has, and is also of the opinion that Alex deserves a seat in Formula 1, so he is supportive.”
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Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) September 8, 2021
It didn’t take long after Mercedes confirmed Russell that Williams were announcing their own 2022 line up.
Explaining the timing of the announcement, Capito said: “We said we’d take time until we really knew what we wanted to do.
“When we came to the conclusion this is the right thing to do, then it doesn’t make sense to drag on. It’s much better for everybody involved if that is clear, especially before we go to the overseas races.
“With the overseas races, you are at home even less and it’s even more difficult to communicate, so we are quite happy that we could get this sorted before we start the overseas season.
“It’s simply much more practical and easier to communicate.”