George Russell to be replaced by Briton Alex Albon at Williams after signing for Mercedes
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Williams have confirmed that Alexander Albon will return to the Formula One grid next season, replacing the departing George Russell who has secured a future at Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton. Albon has been spent the past season as Red Bull’s reserve driver after losing his seat to Sergio Perez at the end of last season.

The 25-year-old previously drove for Scuderia Toro Rosso in F1 before being promoted to a race seat with Red Bull Racing, scoring two podiums in 2020, however lost out to the Mexican who has been alongside championship leader Max Verstappen this season.

Albon however will now join the British team alongside the Canadian for 2022.

“I am really excited and looking forward to returning to a Formula One race seat in 2022,” stated Albon, who made his debut in 2019 with Toro Rosso and has picked up 38 starts.

“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.

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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. My focus now returns to my Test & Reserve Driver role at Red Bull and helping the team fight for this year’s world championship.”

Red Bull say they have released Albon to become a Williams driver, but retain a relationship with him that includes future options.

Jost Capito, CEO of Williams Racing, added: “It is fantastic to be able to confirm our driver line-up for 2022 and I am delighted to be welcoming Alex to the team, along with confirming our continued relationship with Nicholas into next year.

“We are extremely excited by our new line-up, with both drivers bringing a great blend of youth and experience that will not only be a great fit for the team but also help us take the next step in our journey.

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“Alex is one of the most exciting young talents in motorsport, yet comes with a large amount of F1 experience from his time at Red Bull.

“His multiple podium finishes highlight his speed as a driver, and we know he will immediately feel at home with the team at Grove.

“Nicholas meanwhile has consistently impressed us over the past three years with his hard work, diligence, and positive attitude. He has continued to develop throughout his time at Williams and has grown into an impressive F1 driver, as seen by his points-scoring finishes this season.”

Albon is a replacement at Williams for Russell, who this week was announced at Mercedes for 2022.

He has multiple race wins in the GP3 Series and the FIA Formula Two Championship.

The Thai-British racer also knows his new team-mate well having previously raced alongside the Canadian at DAMS during his 2018 Formula Two campaign.

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