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Williams tight-lipped on extent of Albon's Red Bull connections

Williams tight-lipped on extent of Albon's Red Bull connections

F1 News

Williams tight-lipped on extent of Albon's Red Bull connections

Williams tight-lipped on extent of Albon's Red Bull connections

Williams CEO Jost Capito held his cards close to the chest and insisted Alex Albon "is a Williams driver and that is it" despite certain Red Bull ties remaining.

Despite Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff stating Red Bull must 'set Albon free' from his contract in order to join Mercedes-powered Williams, the switch has happened with Red Bull retaining "future options" on the driver.

The extent of the connections, however, remains largely unknown with Capito tight-lipped on the possibility of Red Bull being able to call up Albon in a reserve capacity should Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez be unable to race.

“I just can say, he is a Williams driver and we decide what he is doing and what he is not doing," said Capito when asked directly.

The scenario is one Williams faced last year with George Russell borrowed by Mercedes in Sakhir when Lewis Hamilton was unable to race.

“What I can tell you is that he is a Williams driver in 2022, whatever that means is up to you," Capito added.

"Maybe you have to ask Red Bull but for us, he is a Williams driver and that is it.”

Who controls Albon's F1 future?

In its driver announcement, Williams commented only that the partnership of Albon and Nicholas Latifi was its "driver line-up for the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship".

Given Red Bull's comment on holding "future options", it is unclear as to whether it is Williams or Red Bull that holds the first call on Albon for 2023 despite the driver being “released”.

“We don’t comment on the details of the contract," explained Capito. "I can just say again that he is a Williams driver.

“Whatever happens next year, we can’t predict that. We don’t know if he will be happy with us, we are happy with him. We will see where it goes but in general, I don’t intend on having drivers going in and out.

“That doesn’t mean anything for the contract but in my mind, it means we want to build the team and we want to build it long-term and we will see at this stage where the team is at now, Alex is the right driver.”

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