After a year of not racing in Formula 1, Alex Albon has secured a return as he joins Williams for 2022 alongside the retained Nicholas Latifi.
The British-Thai racer was dropped from Red Bull's driver line-up at the end of a disappointing 2020 campaign, but was kept on as Red Bull's reserve driver for the senior team and for AlphaTauri, as well as carrying out important development and simulator work. He also was placed into DTM with Red Bull backing, where he recently became a race winner at the Nurburgring.
With Red Bull staying committed to their current driver line-ups across both of their teams, it didn't appear as though an opening would be available for Albon and he travelled to Indianapolis to open up communication with IndyCar teams as he weighed up whether to leave the F1 world behind.
However, with Red Bull's help, Albon has signed a deal to race with Williams in 2022, although Red Bull have confirmed to RacingNews365.com that Albon has had to be released on a temporary basis from Red Bull in order to secure the move, due to Williams' ties to Mercedes.
"I am really excited and looking forward to returning to a Formula 1 race seat in 2022," a relieved Albon said once the announcement of his new drive was made.
"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.
"It's also been great to see all the progress Williams have been making as a team this year and I look forward to helping them continue that journey in 2022."
With Red Bull in the fight for this year's championships, Albon vowed to keep the focus on helping his current team achieve the titles.
"My focus now returns to my test and reserve driver role at Red Bull and helping the team fight for this year's world championship," he stated.
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