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When Alex Albon was sacked from Red Bull after an underwhelming performance compared to teammate Max Verstappen, many believed that the Thai driver’s F1 career might be over, just as things ended up happening with Daniel Kvyat. However, Albon rose from the low point of being sacked to now being one of the highly regarded drivers on the grid so much so that Red Bull might be regretting letting the Thai driver go.

Alexander Albon, who’s been racing with Williams for more than a couple of years just announced his newest contract extension with the team. Albon has signed a multi-year long-term contract with Williams that’ll see him stay at the team for an extended period. The exact duration of the contract is not out yet. Albon’s decision however has left many wondering as to why one of the hottest properties in the driver’s market chose to re-sign with a backmarker team. 

Did Alex Albon make the right move by signing for Williams? If so, what might be the reasons behind it? Let’s have a look and decide whether it was a master strategy or a doomed one. 

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James Vowles’ Vision as Team Principal; Multiple Changes Made by Former Mercedes Man

Fans were just as shocked when James Vowles’ announced his move away from Mercedes and to Williams as a Team Principal. Why did Vowles leave a championship-contending team? A new challenge and to bring one of the greatest names in F1 history back to the top. Over the last decade or so, Williams have been struggling with their finances and the owners weren’t able to invest the required amount to fight at the front of the field. As a result the team slowly dropped to the back of the grid.

Midway through 2021, Williams was sold to a Private Investment Company named Dorilton Capital, who decided to keep the name and continue the heritage. About a year later, James Vowles’ was announced as the new Team Principal and he soon noticed the problems with the infrastructure of the team and why they’ve been suffering badly at the back of the grid.

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Explaining how his vision is to get back to winning, he said, “Digging out the bits that aren’t strong in the organization, which for much of it will be infrastructure that’s 20 years old, and it takes time to replace that.” Adding how they’re ready to push past the limits, he added, “If we’re going to do that, we have to accept that we’re going to break infrastructure, break systems, redevelop ourselves, not leave any stone unturned. That’s difficult for organizations but that’s the path we’re on.”

The investments are now stable and Vowles’ has put the upgrade of the factory underway. But that’s not all, he even brought in Pat Fry as the Chief Technical Officer, who was sacked by Alpine. And although both Vowles’ and Fry are relatively new at Williams, a change in the team’s mood and vision can be felt already. And that’s not all. There might be more coming on the Human Resources side. 

Adrian Newey in Talk with James Vowles’ to Join Williams

Adrian Newey announced his Red Bull exit earlier this month. The mastermind is linked to joining either Ferrari or Aston Martin. But James Vowles with Williams has come out as a dark horse in this race. Adrian Newey is rumored to be considering the option to return to the team with which he’s achieved massive success in the past and built some of the most dominant cars, i.e. Williams.

James Vowles’ came out to suggest that he’s had some talks with Newey as he said, “The talks are still at an early stage, but are we in talks? Yes. I’ve known Adrian for a while and I spoke to him on Friday. I am also pretty sure I will have another conversation with him soon. He is an icon of the sport, there is no doubt about that. I think we are a team without too much politics. We are a small team trying to find our way back to the front. And I think it suits someone very well who wants to throw himself into such a challenge. What’s great about Williams is that it has retained a family feel.”

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Alex Albon recently spoke about the possibility of Adrian Newey signing for Williams and advised that any team would be foolish not to try and get Adrian Newey to sign for them. The Thai Driver advised that the door is always open for Adrian Newey if want to come back to the Williams family. So what do we think? Did Alex Albon make the right choice?

Alex Albon Williams Decision: Dangerous but Worth the Risk

Williams is making changes throughout the organization with James Vowles’ at the forefront of everything. Pat Fry has taken the steering wheel of the ship, and his experience from the Ferrari and McLaren days will certainly help the team. And if Adrian Newey joins, and the infrastructure is set up within the next couple of years, Williams might as well become the dominant team they once were.

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Alex Albon on the other hand didn’t have many options to go to. Ferrari and McLaren’s seats are full and so are Aston Martin’s, considering Lance Stroll doesn’t give up on F1. Mercedes and Red Bull would’ve been the viable option but would Albon have liked to go back to the team that sacked him earlier? Probably no, and even if he did, he would have to be the No.2 driver behind Verstappen. The same would’ve been the case at Mercedes as George Russell would be given the preference.

Alex Albon made the right choice to remain the lead driver at Williams and see where this long-term project goes, hence why he’s probably committed to the team for the long term, so as to reap the benefits of all the hard work if it does end up working.

Written by

Pranay Bhagi

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Pranay is a senior F1 writer and content analyst at EssentiallySports who effortlessly blends his technical knowledge and passion for F1 in his writing. He has a knack for content research, and his work resonates with die-hard fans and newcomers to Formula 1. Pranay’s notable coverage of Guenther Steiner’s departure from Haas received widespread appreciation from readers.
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