Alex Albon is one of the leading candidates to drive for Williams in 2022 in place of George Russell, with Valtteri Bottas expected to join Alfa Romeo.
Mercedes has yet to announce its plans for next season but barring a surprise u-turn, it is understood Russell will get his chance alongside Lewis Hamilton, replacing Bottas who has been at the team for five seasons. That move would leave Bottas looking for another seat and Williams seeking a replacement for Russell, but after Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner stated Red Bull is looking to find Albon a seat, RACER understands Williams has him high on its list of preferred options.
Albon had been exploring had been exploring IndyCar opportunities after interest from the United States, but a return to the Formula 1 grid still looks to be a genuine possibility despite Sergio Perez being retained by Red Bull.
Williams’ interest in Albon increased due to Bottas appearing to prefer Alfa Romeo over a return to his former team should he lose his Mercedes seat, and the Finn’s future is likely to be confirmed at the same time as Russell’s.
Jost Capito’s team has been attracting plenty of interest in the potential vacancy that could arise if Russell is picked by Mercedes, with Nico Hulkenberg one of the more experienced options alongside Bottas. Alpine tried to get a seat for its Chinese junior driver Guanyu Zhou, but Williams doesn’t need to prioritize money with its selection and prefers Albon, who raced for Toro Rosso in the first half of 2019 before being promoted to Red Bull.
An Alfa Romeo move for Bottas would reduce the opportunities for its reserve driver Callum Ilott, who is also attracting interest from IndyCar teams.