Williams driver Alex Albon, has been speaking about losing his dream job in Formula One at the end of the 2020 season after being informed by Red Bull that he will be dropped.

The 26-year-old Thai driver made his Formula One debut with Toro Rosso in the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, and was promoted to the sister team with Max Verstappen over the summer break in a direct swap with Pierre Gasly.

However, team bosses Christian Horner and Helmut Marko opted to dismiss Albon in favour of the more experienced Sergio Perez, whose pairing with Verstappen has proven to be more successful.

“It killed me. It killed me, it was terrible, it was one of those things. It got announced that I wasn’t going to be a racing driver pretty late, I think it was December.” Albon said on Beyond The Grid podcast.

“They still believed in me and still trusted me – Christian and Helmut, everyone at Red Bull – and I still have a great relationship with them.

“But on my side, it was more or less like: ‘I want to be in F1. I feel like I’m the hungriest driver I know. How can I get back into it?'”

Albon took a year off to work for Red Bull in the test and development department. He’s now back on the grid with Williams, replacing his long-time friend George Russell, who went to Mercedes during the off-season.

“It was quite interesting to have that step back away from the spotlight and from the paddock in that way, and look at things in a different perspective,” he added.

“Just listening to Max and Checo, I’d always listen to their engineers.”

“I would take bits from it. As people, their personalities – how did they interact with the team and how did they learn?

“The car was quick out the blocks,” he recalled. “Max was talking about how much better the rear felt [than the RB16 in 2020], how much more stable it was.

“It does hurt a little bit, because at the same point you’re like: ‘That’s great, I feel like I contributed to that.'”

Albon claimed that the team’s lead designer, Adrian Newey, was among those who openly credited Albon for his role in building the car that took Verstappen all the way to the drivers title last year.

“People like Adrian gave me a lot of credit for it. I don’t want to say I helped a massive amount, but I felt like I chipped in,” he said.

“The first few races [were] terrible,” he admitted. “I was a reserve driver, so I had to go to every race. But just being there, I couldn’t watch, I was just sitting down and trying to stay away from it as much as possible.”

Albon has successfully clinched Williams’ first point of 2022 with tenth position in Melbourne, despite starting from the back of the grid and completing an incredible 57 lap stint before pitting.

In the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, he finished 11th in wet/dry conditions at Imola, almost missing out on another point.

“I’m really happy with the result, we maximised the opportunities and overtook some cars on track with the pace we had,” he said of his performance in Imola.

“It’s a shame that we missed out on points by one place, but we are taking opportunities, doing things differently and showing that we can battle higher up despite not having the fastest car.”

It may have come as a shock at the time, but Albon appears to be back on track now that he’s settled in at Grove.

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