Albon Reveals How a Passport Debacle Threatened His Signing With Williams F1

Published 10/11/2021, 1:40 PM EDT
NUERBURG, GERMANY – Alexander Albon of Thailand and Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talk in the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Alex Albon, the Thai-British driver who was left without a seat in 2021, is prepping up for a comeback to Formula 1 in 2022 after Williams granted one of their seats to the former Red Bull driver.

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As per the contract, Albon will be sticking with the team until the end of 2022, with the option of extending his stay further beyond that point too. This is undeniably a golden opportunity for the youngster, who had a rather awful stint with Red Bull. A redemption possibly in the making.

But, here’s an interesting story Albon managed to share with the F1 Nation podcast. The Thai-Briton opened up about the one huge hurdle he had to ward off on the day of contract signing. And we’re not lying, but it was an enormous hurdle.

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Apparently, Albon, while heading to the airport, lost his passport. And the fight he was catching was the one heading to Grove where he was set to sign the Williams contract.

What did Alex Albon say?

As reported by Formula Passion, Albon had left his passport at one of the Red Bull executives’ houses, where he had his dinner.

This year I granted an interview for an Austrian TV – explained the 25-year-old – and, in the occasion, I met some Red Bull Austria executives for the first time. I visited the headquarters, which I had never seen in the past, and then went to one of these people’s home for dinner, taking off my jacket,” he said.

Thai driver Alex Albon celebrated the first DTM win of his career in Sunday’s race eight at the iconic Nürburgring circuit to move up to fourth overall in the title race. // DTM at Nuerburgring, Germany on August 22, 2021 // Julian Kroehl / Red Bull Content Pool

At 3 am I then left the hotel to go to the airport, but I realized that I had forgotten my jacket at home, and I also had my passport in my pocket.”

Here’s the twist. Albon did try calling that person but nobody attended the call. Hence, after gaining no response, the Williams driver had to take a taxi and head back to his house only to end up facing the same result – no response. The Red Bull executive was sound asleep.

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How the Williams driver managed to retrieve the passport

Albon revealed that, At 3:30 AM, he finally managed to put an end to the never-ending stress. “I noticed someone leaving the apartment at around 3:30,” he said.

At that point I followed him and I knocked again. And this gentleman, named Max, opened the door: ‘Excuse me Max, I’m afraid I forgot my passport in your house’, I told him. It was there that he replied that I hadn’t left anything in the apartment, but that I had instead left my passport in the television studios.

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It was only then that I went here. And luckily there was a guard who had all the keys to open the doors. I recovered my jacket and went back to the airport, just in time to catch the plane .

Overall, that was quite an intense story. But, it all ended well for Albon, who ultimately managed to put the pen to the paper without any delay. And now, we await the arrival of the 2022 season to see what Albon has to offer.

He is in decent form after having put up a strong show in DTM this year. So, can he reciprocate the success in Formula 1 next year? We’ll know in time.

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Rohit Kumar

1266 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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