Alex Albon aims to continue Williams’ rise back to the top on F1 return

 (Williams Racing)
(Williams Racing)

Alex Albon is confident that ex-Formula 1 front runners Williams can continue their rise up the order in the sport this season.

After finishing last of the 10 teams on the grid back in 2020, the British manufacturer climbed up to eighth last season with six points finishes including George Russell’s podium finish at the Belgian Grand Prix.

After a year out from the sport having been dropped by Red Bull, Albon returns to the F1 grid to replace the Mercedes-bound Russell.

And speaking at the launch of the livery of the team’s new car, the FW44, on Tuesday, the British-born Thai driver said: “It’s a team really on the climb and it’s exciting to be part of this journey. Hopefully I’m able to use a bit of what I know to bump it along the way. I’ve had a year out to see things from a different perspective.”

Nicholas Latifi, back for his third season with the team, got to drive the car first in a brief shakedown at Silverstone on Tuesday with both he and Albon getting behind the wheel in winter testing in Barcelona next week.

But both said it was difficult to make any expectations after wholesale regulation changes for the coming campaign.

“We’re driving completely different cars,” said Albon. “But it looks really good, it looks really smart. I feel like it looks like a fast racing car.

“The team believe in me and are on my side. We’re trying to make sure we can attack straight away. And I know I will get better through the season as will the car.”

 (Williams Racing)
(Williams Racing)

Williams are one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport having won nine constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ crowns with 114 grand prix victories in total. But the team have been languishing towards the back in recent seasons.

Team principal Jos Capito said he was confident that the team would continue to grow into 2022 with the new car, which is blue with flashes of white and red to highlight its Britishness, according to Capto.

Of his prospects in the new car, Latifi said: “It’s a fresh start for everybody… to get us back into more fighting ways.”