James Vowles has outlined the strengths Alex Albon is developing at Williams, explaining why he believes the 27-year-old does not receive enough credit for his performances. The man in charge at Grove makes these comments as Albon’s points finishes have become more frequent in F1 news headlines.
Williams has spent several years treading water, with financial issues restricting the team’s progress and even jeopardising their position on the grid.
The recent growth of Formula 1 and its popularity, alongside the cost cap and growing commercial growth, has allowed the British outfit to become more secure in the last few years.
Although the team’s survival is no longer under threat, James Vowles has made no secret of the issues Williams must begin to address – many of which are the result of inadequate investment.
As the former Mercedes strategist works to rebuild his squad from the ground up, Alex Albon is cementing himself as a dependable option for the team.
It is little surprise that Williams signed a multi-year deal with the Thai driver last season, and the results from 2023 so far are proof that this faith is already being repaid.
Speaking about Albon’s season-best P7 in Canada, James Vowles outlined the attributes that make the F1 podium finisher so impressive:
“There’s no ego. He’s a funny chap, but I called him yesterday to explain to him that was a drive of champions. I’ve worked with a good number of them, and it really was.
“He didn’t put a foot wrong at the point where he’s under pressure from four incredibly fast-charging cars behind on tyres that were in a much better state than his.
“Some of the work he was doing on repositioning his car, on the exit of ten and a few other corners, was very clever. And he recognizes that.
“He’s obviously not someone that’s going to go in and boast about it to the world.
“But for me, that was a drive of champion. He’s definitely bringing the car to the limit of his performance, which is what you’re looking for out of a driver.
“I think he’s very underrated, and I’m incredibly happy that he’s here within our organisation today.”
There have been suggestions Albon should sign with a more competitive team in recent months, with much of the F1 community in agreement that he deserves to fight further up the field.
However, aside from the contractual reality that the 27-year-old has a multi-year commitment to Grove, there is little reason for Albon to look elsewhere.
After several years of instability at Toro Rosso and then Red Bull – eventually forcing him to sit on the sidelines in 2023 – Williams represents a promising project where he can continue to develop as a driver.
Recent updates to the FW45 have proven highly effective, and though more difficult tracks are upcoming, there is an unquestionable sense of optimism surrounding James Vowles’ squad.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang