Alex Albon is set to replace George Russell at Williams next season

Alex Albon is set to replace George Russell at Williams next season after his switch to Mercedes with the Brit returning to Formula One following a year on the sidelines having been dropped by Red Bull

  • Alex Albon will make his Formula One comeback next season with Williams  
  • The British racer will replace outgoing George Russell, who has joined Mercedes 
  • Albon was dropped by Red Bull for Sergio Perez and sat out for 12 months 
  • He thanked both teams for keeping faith in him and helping him back to the grid 

Alex Albon will return to Formula One next season after agreeing a deal to race for Williams.

The London-born Thai will take close friend George Russell’s seat following confirmation of the Briton’s deal to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022.

Albon, 25, was replaced by Sergio Perez at Red Bull after he struggled to keep pace with Max Verstappen in his first full season with the team.

Alex Albon will race for Williams next season after being dropped by Red Bull for 12 months 

He will act as a replacement for George Russell, who has secured a big move to Mercedes

But following 12 months on the sidelines, Albon will be handed a second chance in the sport.

Albon will partner Nicholas Latifi who has been retained by Williams for a third season.

‘I am really excited and looking forward to returning to a Formula One race seat in 2022,’ said Albon, who has been Red Bull’s reserve driver this year.

‘When you take a year out of F1 it’s never certain you will make a return so I’m extremely thankful to Red Bull and Williams for believing in me and helping me on my journey back to the grid.’

Albon (L), who is a close friend of Russell (R), said he was grateful that both teams stood by him

Albon made his F1 debut for Toro Rosso in 2019 before being promoted to Red Bull after just 12 races.

But despite scoring two podiums in 2020, he finished 109 points and four championship places adrift of team-mate Verstappen and lost his race seat with the Milton Keynes team.

However, Red Bull, who recently handed Perez an extension for next season, have worked to loan Albon to Williams – complicated by the British team being powered by rivals’ Mercedes.

Albon secured two podiums in 2020 but struggled to keep up with Max Verstappen

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: ‘We rate Alex very highly and with our line-up for 2022 fixed, our objective was to help find him a seat in another team where he could gain more F1 mileage and experience and we are delighted to have done that with Williams.

‘Alex has been a hugely valuable asset in his role as our test and reserve driver this year, helping bring performance from the simulator to the car each weekend, but for his career it was important not to spend another season out of an F1 race seat.

‘With his place on the grid next year secured, we are delighted to see him realise this opportunity and we will be following his progress closely.’

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