Alex Albon will make his return to Formula One in 2022 after signing up with Williams.
Williams was in need of a driver for next season after current driver George Russell signed a deal with Mercedes-Benz AMG earlier this week. Russell will replace Valtteri Bottas who is moving to Alfa Romeo to fill the seat of retiring Kimi Raikkonen.
Albon, who will pair with current Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, started his F1 career in 2019 with Red Bull Racing feeder team Toro Rosso (currently AlphaTauri). He was promoted to Red Bull in 2020 but, despite showing some early promise, including scoring two podium finishes, was ultimately replaced by Sergio Perez for 2021.
Albon stayed with Red Bull in 2021, serving as reserve driver and racing in the team's new DTM entry. He scored his first win there at a recent round at the Nürburgring.
The move to Williams was made possible by Red Bull freeing up Albon's contract.
“When you take a year out of F1 it’s never certain you will make a return so I’m extremely thankful to Red Bull and Williams for believing in me and helping me on my journey back to the grid,” Albon said in a statement.
Williams is currently third from last in the Constructors' standings, but there's renewed hope the team will fare better next season as F1 introduces a new era of car design. Williams is also under new management, with successful motorsport manager Jost Capito serving as CEO and the Williams family no longer directly involved.