September 24, 2021

“Strict and clear” clauses in place for Albon to join Williams – Wolff | 2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is satisfied Alexander Albon will not retain links to Red Bull when he joins Williams next year.

Wolff had raised concerns over the Red Bull reserve driver moving to the Mercedes customer team. In order for Albon to join Williams, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner confirmed he will be released from his contract next year, though they will retain future options on his services.

Albon “is basically a Williams driver for the next 12 months,” said Wolff. “He has no links to Red Bull during that time.”

Wolff insisted he did not raise objections to Albon joining Williams in an attempt to block him joining the team in favour of Mercedes-backed driver Nyck de Vries.

“We always respected [Williams’] authority of choosing its drivers for the team,” said Wolff. “I was at Williams and I would have not wanted anybody to interfere in our drivers decision.

“In the same way, we have no contractual rights that we could have or would have utilised, because I don’t think it’s right to meddle with the team’s decision of drivers, full stop.”

The Mercedes boss is satisfied with the restrictions which have been put in place to safeguard the manufacturer’s intellectual property.

“What was important for us is that if a driver from another power unit manufacturer joins the team, that there is very strict and clear IP confidentiality clauses and that was always in great harmony with Williams. They know exactly where we are coming from and what is important to protect.

“And to be honest I absolutely support – even though it’s none of my business – Alex Albon. He deserves to be in F1, he’s a great guy and I’m happy for him that that he’s in the car.

“He’s there, he didn’t get a place in the AlphaTauri or a Red Bull but he’s at Williams now and hopefully stays there for a long time.”

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