Albon: IndyCar was preferred option if F1 return didn't happen

Alex Albon says the IndyCar Series would have been his preferred destination to race in 2022 had he not been successful in securing a Formula 1 comeback with Williams.

Albon: IndyCar was preferred option if F1 return didn't happen

Having spent this season on the sidelines as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver, the Thai driver was announced as George Russell’s replacement at Williams for next year prior to the Italian Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old, who scored two podiums with Red Bull last year before being replaced by Sergio Perez, has kept race-sharp in the DTM racing a Ferrari 488 GT3 for AF Corse and won his first race since 2018 last month at the Nurburgring.

Speaking at Monza on Saturday, Albon revealed that IndyCar and Formula E were his fallback options if F1 had not come off, with a move to America the preferred option. He had been set to race for the Nissan e.dams Formula E team in 2018-19 before receiving a late call up to join Red Bull sister squad Toro Rosso for 2019.

Albon visited the Indianapolis road course race last month to get a feel for what IndyCar was like and assess what options were available.

IndyCar team boss Dale Coyne, who signed ex-Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean for his squad this year, revealed that Albon was on his radar for 2022 but was also being considered by other teams.

Asked if he seriously considered racing in alternative series like IndyCar, Albon said: “Yes I did and you have to as well.

“You think about F1, but FE was also in consideration. You can plan as much as you want for F1, but if it doesn't happen, then you will have nothing. You can't play that game where it's all or nothing.

“So I had to think about a plan B route: and those two [series] came to mind. IndyCar at the time attracted me more so than FE.

“I went to Indianapolis to watch the racing and I liked it. I obviously had a chat with Romain as well, and it looked exciting. But my priority was always F1.

“The other thing about that is that F1 can wait, because the decisions happen quite late compared to other series. So it was quite a tricky balance to have when you're trying to keep options open for the F1 seats while the movement, the musical chairs, was still happening.”

Albon said his year working behind the scenes with Red Bull had not been easy, but he was hugely excited to be back next season with Williams.

“It’s been a year to reflect as well on things, things that I could change and learn from 2020,” he explained.

“It’s been, at the same time, quite a tricky year. Just watching on the sidelines is never fun.

“But it built my hunger, and obviously I’m very thankful and very excited to be getting back into it.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull not ruling out Williams F1 partnership after Albon move

Previous article

Red Bull not ruling out Williams F1 partnership after Albon move

Next article

Italian GP's F1 sprint qualifying race as it happened

Italian GP's F1 sprint qualifying race as it happened
Load comments
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021