George Russell and Lando Norris give verdict on Alex Albons F1 return

Hungarian Grand Prix: Alex Albon reflects on his performance

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Alex Albon is back in F1 after being confirmed as a Williams driver for 2022 – much to the delight of Lando Norris and George Russell. It’s an exciting time for the trio of close friends, with Russell being named as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate at Mercedes next season while Norris continues to shine at McLaren.

Russell’s exciting move to Mercedes had vacated a seat at Williams and Albon has signed with the team to return to the sport after being dropped by Red Bull for Sergio Perez.

There were concerns that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff would block the Thai-British driver from taking the seat at Mercedes-powered Williams, but it didn’t come to fruition.

And after Albon’s move was confirmed, Norris and Russell expressed their delight as the trio have progressed through the ranks of motorsport together.

They also all made their debuts in F1 at the same time, and McLaren’s Norris admitted he was excited to race alongside his friend once again.

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“I mean, obviously it doesn’t change much for me, but I like Alex – he’s one of my good mates,” Norris told Formula1.com.

“I respect him a lot and think he’s a very good driver so just for him to get that second opportunity in Formula 1 is, I think, a good thing. 

I hope he can do well and show everyone what he’s got.

“Just between us three [Norris, Albon and Russell], we’ve done a lot of interviews together and videos and things, and we’ve had a lot of fun.

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“We’ve kind of grown up together in a way, so it’s just nice because they’re people I know, and I respect them a lot. It’s cool to have him back.”

Russell, who is being replaced by Albon at Williams next season, revealed he told the team they were making the right decision in signing the 25-year-old.

“Alex is a fantastic driver,” Russell told The Race. 

“He had a tough time at Red Bull but I think he’s going to come back even stronger.

“He’s always been there in everything he’s ever done. I’m sure the environment at Williams is going to suit him down to a tee and he’s going to perform really well. I truly believe he deserves a chance on this grid.

“I really think he’s one of the best drivers, even though he had a really tough time at Red Bull and I think Williams is absolutely the right place for him to go and develop.

“I’ve been there for the past three years, I know how the team are, know how Jost [Capito, Williams CEO] operates, and I know Alex really well.

“I’m sure they’ll be a successful combination.”

This weekend’s meeting at Monza is the third race of a triple-header within the F1 calendar after the Belgian Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort occurred over the last two weekends.

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