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Albon excited by Williams' potential: You can feel the energy

After a year away from F1, Alex Albon makes his return to the cockpit with Williams for 2022, and the Anglo-Thai driver is optimistic about what his new team has in store for the season ahead.

New Williams F1 driver Alex Albon says there is a great buzz around the Grove-based squad heading into 2022. After a difficult few years in both financial and performance terms, Williams improved from 10th to eighth in the 2021 Constructors' table, and with new owners Dorilton Capital clearing debts, Albon has talked up the team's prospects of remaining upwardly mobile into 2022. "The team are very motivated and driven to show what they can do," Albon said at the recent launch of the Williams FW44. "They had a great end to last year and moved up the order, and you can feel that buzz, that energy within the team, and it's very exciting to be part of."

A Williams lifeline for 2022

Albon's F1 future had appeared in doubt at the end of 2020, when he was replaced at Red Bull by Sergio Perez after having been overwhelmingly overshadowed by teammate Max Verstappen. With no other seats available, the Anglo-Thai served as a test and reserve driver for Red Bull and sister outfit AlphaTauri, and raced in the DTM series, winning one race and placing sixth in the final standings. Albon was ultimately thrown an F1 lifeline for 2022 by a Williams team needing to replace Mercedes-bound George Russell, and says his gap year helped him to become a more complete driver. "Having had that year out, I have had a bit more of a global view of what it takes to be a top-tier driver. "Sometimes, in a race weekend, when you're in the zone, you only see the racetrack. "Last year, it was a very different role for me; it was about developing the car, seeing how the team operates, and fulfilling my development role as best as I could. "At the same time, [I've also] spent last year reflecting and thinking how I can do a better job, and that's not just one thing, that's a lot of little things which I'm working on."

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