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Alexander Albon

Wolff tells Red Bull to 'free' Albon for Williams seat

The make-up of the 2022 F1 grid continues to be a big talking point, with Alexander Albon in the thick of it. Still under contract at Red Bull, Toto Wolff admits he'll have to end his association with the team if he wants to end up at Mercedes-powered Williams.

Albon Red Bull 2021
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Alexander Albon's name continues to be linked with a return to F1 next season, however Toto Wolff says Red Bull must release him from his contract if he wants to end up at Mercedes-powered Williams.

With George Russell expected to replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes in 2022, there are several names being linked to his seat at Williams and the Thai-British driver is one of them.

Wolff previously stated that he wouldn't block Albon from joining Williams, but on Saturday he made it clear that he doesn't want a driver under contract with Red Bull at a Mercedes-powered team.

"It's one thing about the power unit and I think with Albon, as I said yesterday, he's a driver that deserves a seat in Formula 1," Mercedes boss Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media.

"But it's tricky to have a 100 percent Red Bull driver on a Mercedes power unit. So, [I am] happy to work with him, as long as they let him free from his Red Bull contract."

On Friday, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said that Mercedes have called Albon on several occasions in an attempt to dissuade him from joining Williams.

Wolff says those talks have focused on exploring opportunities for Albon, along with current Formula E Champion Nyck de Vries.

"Alex is in regular contact with Gwen Lagrue, who is running our Mercedes junior programme, and they were discussing with James Vowles, our head of strategy, the opportunities for next year," Wolff added.

"Then things get always, how can I say? Tweaked, in a way... He wasn't told to do or not do anything, it was just exploring the opportunities for Alex, and for Nyck, in an amicable way."

As for De Vries, Wolff reiterated that he wouldn't stand in his way if an F1 seat opened up.

RacingNews365.com recently reporting that De Vries is in line to take over from Antonio Giovinazzi at Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo.

"[He] is a Mercedes works driver in Formula E, but I will never stand in Nyck's way to drive in Formula 1," Wolff commented.

"We have no management contract with him, neither do we have an option of taking him back in.

"Therefore, Nyck can drive in anything."

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