Following weeks of discussions, Purple Bull has helped pave the best way for improvement driver Albon to make his F1 return with Williams subsequent yr by releasing him from contractual ties – though a press release mentioned it retains a relationship with “future choices”.
It follows protracted talks with Williams’ present engine provider Mercedes, which favoured putting its Formulation E champion Nyck de Vries within the seat vacated by newly-signed Mercedes driver George Russell – though Williams CEO Jost Capito mentioned Albon’s F1 experience made him the preferred candidate.
As Purple Bull prepares to take over from departing engine associate Honda, increase its personal powertrain division with hires poached from Mercedes, there was hypothesis that the Albon deal might be a primary step in nearer ties with Williams going ahead – the group seemingly open-minded on its long-term plans because of the recent funding from new house owners Dorilton Capital.
Talking on the Italian Grand Prix, Purple Bull group boss Christian Horner mentioned that his firm’s focus is presently on supplying its personal group and sister squad AlphaTauri from subsequent yr.
However as F1 prepares for all-new engine rules from 2026, he instructed that the door was open on one thing occurring long run.
“Clearly we do not have an engine facility but,” defined Horner.
“We’re busy constructing that and we have got sufficient on our plate supplying two groups at this time limit.
“However, in fact, when new rules are on the horizon, you possibly can by no means say by no means sooner or later.”
The deal to get Albon within the Williams is the primary time in a decade that Purple Bull has seemed outdoors its personal group and AlphaTauri to position certainly one of its affiliated drivers, with Daniel Ricciardo making his mid-season F1 debut at HRT in 2011 alongside former Red Bull driver Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Alex Albon, Purple Bull Racing with Purple Bull Racing Workforce Principal, Christian Horner
Photograph by: Purple Bull Content material Pool
Horner mentioned that Purple Bull would miss Albon’s enter, however mentioned it might proceed to work him onerous because it pushes on with its 2022 automobile improvement.
“We’ll miss him due to his expertise and his work ethic,” he mentioned.
“He is only a very robust group participant.
“Alex is with us till the top of the yr, or at the least till the top of the season.
“His work charge over the subsequent three months might be vital.”
Different drivers on Purple Bull’s roster of reserves embody F2 drivers Liam Lawson and Juri Vips, F3 championship chief Dennis Hauger, plus Formulation E racers Sebastian Buemi and Jake Dennis.