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F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice And Qualifying Nicholas Latifi of Williams poses for a photo with the team after the qualifying ahead of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on November 19, 2022.

Albon still finding right balance on radio for Williams

The Thai driver has been described as "too nice" as not enough criticism is given by the 26-year-old to the team

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Williams driver Alex Albon is still working on finding the right balance with his Formula 1 radio communications with the Grove-based team.

Formula 1 Testing in Abu Dhabi - Day OneABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 22: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW44 Mercedes on track during Formula 1 testing at Yas Marina Circuit on November 22, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Albon has had a successful return to Formula 1 after taking a year out (Image Credit: Joe Portlock/Getty Images)

Albon returned to Formula 1 ahead of the 2022 season, signing with Williams. This came after the Thai driver being dropped by Red Bull at the end of the 2020 season.

The 26-year-old enjoyed an impressive comeback to Formula 1. He was the pinnacle of the team, leading them from the back of the grid.

Albon scored four of the team’s eight points, thoroughly outperforming now outgoing Nicholas Latifi. This lead to the Thai driver receiving a multi-year deal with the Grove-based outfit.

Albon “too nice” on the radio

Despite, Albon’s impressive moments throughout the season, Williams found themselves as the clear backmarkers. Therefore, improvements were needed to be made.

Senior figures within Williams indicated their desire of wanting Albon to be firmer with the team. Former technical director FX Demaison, in Brazil, believed that Albon “needs to be a bit more hard with the team and push us a bit more.”

During his time at Red Bull, many of the team members acknowledges Albon’s kindness. They themselves admitted that the Thai driver lacked ruthlessness compared to his teammate at the time Max Verstappen, leading to the 26-year-old’s exit.

F1 Grand Prix of BrazilSAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 13: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW44 Mercedes leads Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 13, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Albon ahead of his former teammate Max Verstappen at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix (Image Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Albon acknowledges radio issue

The 26-year-old found it was “tricky” to find the right balance, but was confident that success would come with what he says. The Williams driver says that “when things aren’t right”, he “speaks up”, talking to

“When things are out of our control, I also don’t feel it’s necessary to just speak out to speak out, that sort of thing. Everything needs to be constructive and in the right way.

“I feel like there is a slight difference in terms of mentality within Red Bull and Williams. The culture is slightly different. I’m still figuring that out.

“Obviously, I want to communicate to the team in the most constructive way possible, and I’m still finding that kind of sweet spot.”

Former Williams boss Jost Capito said before his departure that Albon was “completely different in and out of the car”. The German added that the 26-year-old was “getting better” at finding the right balance.

“He’s not the guy who just shouts and pushes,” Capito said in an end-of-season interview. “He does it in a way to get the respect of the team, work with the team, being nice, and then in the different way getting what he wants, not through shouting or pushing.”

What does the future look like for Williams

The Grove-based team brought in academy driver Logan Sargeant to replace outgoing Nicholas Latifi. A more of a shock came when former boss Jost Capito and his technical director FX Demaison left the team.

The team recently announced the signing of former Mercedes strategist James Vowles to replace Capito as team principal. The Briton will join the Grove-based team on 20th February.

Williams have also announced their car reveal date, which is on 6th February. However, performances on track needs to improve. The team cannot afford another season lingering as a backmarker once again.

Feature Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images



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