Williams’ Boss Treating Alex Albon, Nicholas Latifi as Formula 1 Equals Until Something Happens

Williams drivers Nicholas Latifi and newcomer Alex Albon enter the 2022 Formula 1 season as garage equals.
The No. 1 status will be determined via performance.

Considering the organization has placed eighth, 10th, and 10th in the F1 constructors’ standings the past three seasons, competition could be the best way to help Williams climb closer to contention.

Jost Capito: ‘We don’t have a number one and number two, they are both treated exactly the same’

Williams driver Logan Sargeant drives during a Formula 1 test session at Yas Marina Circuit on Dec. 14, 2021, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | Hasan Bratic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

In an interview with motorsport.com, Williams Racing boss Jost Capito said Latifi, who is entering his third year with the team, will be given the same priority as Albon, who comes back from the offramp to replace new Mercedes pilot George Russell. 

“Of course, it’s good for both,” Capito said. “I think for Alex, it’s great to have this second chance to come back and lead the team to move forward. He doesn’t come in and say, ‘Okay, I want to win races.’

“It is clear that he has to develop the team together with Nicky and us and all the engineers and everybody in Grove. And he seems to enjoy this role. He works very well with Nicky.  

“We don’t have a number one and number two, they are both treated exactly the same. And Nicky can put his mark, there is no doubt.” 

Alex Albon: ‘When you take a year out of F1, it’s never certain you will make a return, so I’m extremely thankful’ 

Albon regains an F1 seat after losing his role to Sergio Perez with Red Bull Racing. Last season, he served as reserve/test driver. Debuting in 2019 with Toro Rosso, Albon has 38 career appearances. He’s ready for his second chance.

“When you take a year out of F1, it’s never certain you will make a return, so I’m extremely thankful …,” Albon told formula1.com

Albon is familiar with the situation, with the people and personalities involved. He and Latifi were Williams F2 teammates in 2018.  

Team leader? Team leaders. 

Albon is replacing Russell, who failed to earn a top-10 finish during his first 2.5 years with Williams. Russell secured 16 points last season. 

Seated with Red Bull in 2020, Albon placed seventh in the drivers’ standings with 105 points but couldn’t hold off Perez’s pressure last season. 

Albon’s anointment will come swiftly with a quick start

Capito reportedly said he favors handing Albon the garage’s top-driver status but understands how it may look if he promotes an outsider over a team veteran.

Politically, he may be correct, but if Albon notches remotely similar point totals with Williams as he did with Red Bull, the anointment will not take long.

During their F2 season together, Albon placed third in the drivers’ race with 212 points, while Latifi finished ninth with 91 points. Russell, by the way, earned the crown with a commanding 287 points. 

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