Albon to join Latifi at Williams F1 team in 2022

LONDON: Red Bull-backed Thai racer Alex Albon (pix) will return to Formula One next season as a Williams driver alongside Canadian Nicholas Latifi, the British-based team announced on Wednesday.

Albon, 25, has been test and reserve driver for Red Bull this year while also competing in the German Touring Car (DTM) championship after being dropped by the Austrian energy drink company's main team at the end of the 2020 campaign.

“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,” said the British-born driver.

The Thai takes the place vacated by George Russell, who is joining seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in an all-British lineup.

Latifi will be starting his third season as a Williams race driver next year.

“We are extremely excited by our new line-up, with both drivers bringing a great blend of youth and experience,” said Williams team boss Jost Capito in a statement.

“Alex is one of the most exciting young talents in motorsport, yet comes with a large amount of F1 experience from his time at Red Bull.

“His multiple podium finishes highlight his speed as a driver, and we know he will immediately feel at home with the team at Grove.” – Reuters