Williams F1 Boss Expects Newbie Alex Albon To Follow ‘Team Leader’ George Russell’s Footsteps

Published 12/26/2021, 4:11 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon before the race Pool via Reuters/Rudy Carezzevoli

The 2022 season brings with it many changes, including the new regulations and car, and more excitingly, fresh lineups. With George Russell finally getting a Mercedes seat, F1 favorite Alex Albon returns to the sport. Taking Russell’s place in Williams, team principal Jost Capito believes Albon has some big boots to fill.

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Russell’s exit from Williams also marks the end of an era, both for the team and the sport. With three years of experience with the team, Capito acknowledged Russell’s role in the unit. “I think we’re losing the team leader and we can say he’s evolved into this role over the course of three years.”

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 29, 2021 Williams’ George Russell celebrates on the podium with the second place trophy REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Capito also praised Russell as he moves to a championship-winning team; the boss expects the Brit to continue shining as a leader regardless. “He’s such a strong character and such a great driver that I’m sure he will lead any team he competes in. Maybe not from the start, but he’s developing in that direction and he’s absolutely great at it.”

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Further, as he hands over his gem to Toto Wolff, he considers the Austrian to be fortuitous. “He’s a great name that any team principal could ask for to further develop the team.” However, Capito expects Alex Albon to be just as great.

Alex Albon- the chosen one to fill in for George Russell

There were a lot of covetous eyes on the empty Williams seat after Russell’s announcement was made. Although Bottas was the obvious assumption, the Finn was quick to announce his move to Alfa Romeo. So, it came down to the likes of Nyck de Vries- Mercedes reserve driver and Formula E champion; or F2 star and titleholder, Oscar Piastri.

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Yet, Williams gave F1 a pleasant surprise with Alex Albon. As the Thai driver gets ready to make a grand F1 return, the team boss knows he’s made the right choice. “[Albon is] totally team oriented. He’s very hungry for re- competition and I think his character will fit the character of the Williams family and their behavior.”

Sure of the man replacing the star of his team, Capito added, “Williams can get the best out of Alex.” And frankly, it will; Albon’s days in Red Bull attest to his hunger for wins- a characteristic he shares with George Russell.

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Jost Capito and Williams can be rest assured that their new driver has the drive and resolve they need to once again become a championship-competing team. With 2021 being full of surprises for Williams, maybe 2022 holds many more.

Watch this story: Top 5 Williams F1 Liveries of All-Time

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Shreya Sanjeev

795 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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