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Alexander Albon

Why Albon feels 2022 was his 'best year in F1' after comeback

Alex Albon faced a year on the sidelines in 2021 after being replaced on Red Bull's race team, but returned to the grid in 2022 with Williams. Despite the team's struggles, Albon is pleased with what he achieved in comparison to his previous years in the sport.

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Alex Albon has hailed 2022 as his "best year in Formula 1" following his return to the grid after a year on the sidelines.

The British-Thai driver found himself without a race seat in 2021 when Red Bull opted to replace him with Sergio Perez, though he was retained by the team as a test and reserve driver.

Albon then made a comeback with Williams in 2022 and, while the team finished at the bottom of the Constructors' Championship standings, the 26-year-old is proud of what he personally achieved given his prior time away from the track.

"Obviously, we were 10th in the Constructors' this year," Albon told the F1 Nation podcast.

"It's not where we want to be. It's obviously not where Williams want to be.

"It's a tale of two halves where, when I look at the season as a whole, I'm very happy about it. I've had a year away from the sport, and it's not always guaranteed, your success, coming back.

"I'm confident in myself, but there's still that [thought of] what's going to happen when you do get back. I felt like the way that my season unfolded, personally speaking, it's gone really well. I feel like it's been my best year in Formula 1."

Albon: I've gelled with the team

Albon acknowledges that 2022 has been challenging in terms of Williams' form, but feels on a personal level that he has blended well with the team.

"Where I see myself now, I feel like I've really gelled with the team, and we can achieve and we will achieve great things," he explained.

"It's obviously been a year where we haven't been competitive. We came out the blocks in Barcelona [in pre-season testing] and we knew it was going to be a tough year.

"But we got points, we had some very good races, took advantage of strategy and scenarios. I feel like, if you look at our year, we got points when we shouldn't have, and it puts us in a good place."

Williams have a direction to go in, says Albon

Williams ended the season on eight points, with four of those scored by Albon.

The former Red Bull driver thinks that one of the Grove-based squad's strengths is maximising opportunities to reach the top 10, something that he believes is a positive sign for the future.

"I feel like, as a team, where we are, we really do maximise a lot of what we have," Albon said.

"If we can have that car that is just that little bit better – getting through to Q2 more often, scraping at the points – I feel like, as a team, we've got that package that we are going to do well when we have that car.

"It's clear to us, we really do know where our car is weak. Of course, there's the other issue of, 'Now you've got to go and fix it and you've got to cure [those] weaknesses in the car'.

"But we have a direction to go in so I feel, personally speaking, very happy [about 2022]. Performance-wise, not so much, but I don't see why we can't change that."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: A tech breakthrough and political firestorms

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth look back on 2022 and discuss the key issues that emanated from a year of considerable change in F1.

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