Alex Albon says it would be “silly” to not think about a return to Red Bull but admitted that’s just “dreaming” for now as he prepares for his Formula 1 comeback with Williams.
Albon has been chosen by Williams to replace the Mercedes-bound George Russell for 2022, having spent this year as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver after losing his race seat to Sergio Perez.
Red Bull will release Albon at end of the season ahead of his Williams move but Red Bull will retain “a relationship with him that includes future options”.
“I would say it would be silly not to think that Red Bull is a team I would consider coming back with,” Albon said.
“At the moment though I’m not really thinking so long term like that, it really feels like I’ve got to put the focus right now this year on my main priority which is obviously getting us to win championship.
“And then, coming on to next year it [the focus] will be solely on Williams, and developing the car and making sure we have a good year and keep growing through that side.
“It’s a lot of dreaming if you think about it in the future. I just feel like right now I have to do the best job I can, focus short term and see what lies ahead.”
Albon made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) in 2019 before earning a place in Red Bull’s senior team midway through the year in a seat swap with Pierre Gasly.
He spent a year and a half in that team, earning three podiums but failing to match his team-mate Max Verstappen, who scored 15 podiums in the same time period.
Albon was dropped in favour of Perez at the end of 2020 and took up a DTM programme alongside his Red Bull role this year.
Asked if that demotion off the F1 grid had knocked his confidence, Albon replied: “Not really at all to be honest.
“I felt like there was still options out there and I still have to focus on the job I’m doing which is sim stuff, DTM stuff and working with the team on development.
“It wasn’t a surprise. It was more of a thing of whether there were any opportunities outside of Red Bull.”
Albon also said he “owes Russell a couple of beers” for his friend and former F2 title adversary putting in a good word for him at Williams.
Albon’s Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also spoke about what Red Bull will lose with Albon’s departure next year.
“We’ll definitely miss him because of his experience and his work ethic, and he’s just a very strong team player,” Horner said.
“But we have some great young talents as well coming through and developing. Juri Vips, Liam Lawson, Dennis Hauger even in Formula 3. So we’re not short of talent.”