Williams team principal James Vowles has revealed that he called Alex Albon to tell him that he 'drove like a champion' during the Canadian Grand Prix, as rumours mount over a possible move to Ferrari.
Albon came home in seventh after what was an impressive drive from the 27-year-old, keeping the likes of Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll behind him.
Following the performance, reports have since emerged that Ferrari are rumoured to be eyeing up Albon as a potential replacement for Carlos Sainz in 2025.
And Vowles – who has worked with the likes of Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg during his time as senior race strategy engineer at Mercedes before he became the Williams team principal – believed that he witnessed something special from Albon at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last month.
Vowles: Albon drove like a champion
“There’s no ego,” Vowles told the Beyond the Grid podcast. “He’s a funny chap, but I called him [after Canada] to explain to him that was a drive of champions. I’ve worked with a good number of them and it really was.
“He didn’t put a foot wrong at the point where he’s under pressure from four incredibly fast-charging cars behind on tyres that were in a much better state than his. Some of the work he was doing on repositioning his car, on the exit of [Turn 10] and a few other corners, was very clever.
“He recognises that. He’s obviously not someone that’s going to go in and boast about it to the world, but for me, that was a drive of a champion.
“He’s definitely bringing the car to the limit of its performance, which is what you’re looking for out of a driver. I think he’s very underrated and I’m incredibly happy that he’s here within our organisation today.”
Williams can build team around Albon
And asked whether he would build a team around Albon, Vowles' response was clear.
“Yes, I would. He’s got leadership qualities to him," the team principal replied. “There are areas where he and I talk about where I think he can do more, but he’s got what it takes to bring us forward as an organisation.
"As I said, for the future, from where I am at the moment, I hope he’s very much a part of it.”
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