Formula One

Albon can relate to Ricciardo’s need for year away from F1

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Alex Albon says he understands Daniel Ricciardo’s need to take a step back from F1, having himself undergone a sabbatical with Red Bull in 2021.

Ricciardo and McLaren opted to cut short by a year their collaboration after an unprofitable relationship.

But with no real opportunities to remain on the grid for 2023, Ricciardo elected to sign a limited reserve driver deal with Red Bull and take some time out to reflect on his F1 future.

While Albon and the Aussie are at very different stages of their career, the William charger can relate to the former McLaren driver’s need to put some distance between himself and F1.

<div>Albon can relate to Ricciardo's need for year away from F1</div>

“I was in a slightly different position,” Albon told Motorsport.com. “I felt like I was hungry maybe a week after I left, or got taken out. But I can see what he means.

“When you have bad years in F1, and I can talk about my experience in 2020, it drains you massively, the noise in the paddock and of course, more than anything, your own performances – we’re born to be competitive and hungry for it.

“That’s what we live on. It’s all about performance. It’s all about doing a good job. So yeah, it’s very heavy, and I think it took me a couple of weeks to kind of get through the emotional impact of missing out on a seat.

“But because I was young, I think I kind of felt like it was never over. And I knew I could have a chance back. And I think it’s possibly what also Mick [Schumacher] is feeling right now, is that sense of, ‘OK, I feel like I’ve got much more to prove, and I’ll be back,’ basically.”

Upon his return to the fray at the start of last year, Albon acquitted himself well with Williams but admitted that it took him time to get used to his new team – or finding the “sweet spot”.

But the process was inevitable to allow him to make the most of his new environment and impose his views on how the car is performing.

Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing on the grid. 23.10.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Race

“You need to make sure that you’re getting the most out of everyone and everyone’s going in the right direction in terms of where the car needs to go, where performance needs to go,” he said.

“And still kind of finding the sweet spot about it, because yes, you want to be pushy in certain aspects. I definitely think people just behave differently. Culturally, mentally, there’s ways to extract performance out of individuals.

“You can’t do that until you know people personally on a personal level. And that takes time, that takes a bit of getting to know and sitting down, that’s dinners, just conversations with the factory.

“So it feels like going into next year, there’s obviously a sense of getting to know them much more. I’m still ending my first year with the team so I am relatively new here.

“And that’s really the focus, it’s getting into the nitty gritty and making sure that we’re focused on doing a good job for next year, and really lifting the whole team and pushing everyone forward.”

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Albon can relate to Ricciardo’s need for year away from F1 F1i.com.

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