Toto Wolff imposed a condition for Alexander Albon to return to Formula 1 racing with a Mercedes engine: the end of his relationship with Red Bull. The Austrian manager believes that it is difficult to have a driver 100% connected to the energy team running with a booster from the Brackley factory.
With George Russell tipped to take over from Valtteri Bottas alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2022, Williams may need a new driver for next year. Head of the rubro-taurine, Christian Horner sees Williams as a possibility, but understands that Mercedes can be a barrier.
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The 25-year-old driver lost his place in Formula 1 at the end of last year and is now racing in the DTM, still under contract with Red Bull. But Alex is one of the most highly regarded for the Grove team.
Speaking to the press in Zandvoort, Wolff said he would be happy to work with Albon, but he imposed a condition.
“It’s complicated to have a 100% Red Bull driver with a Mercedes power unit. So I’m happy to work with him as long as they release him from his contract with Red Bull,” said Wolff.
Mercedes, however, has another candidate for the job: Nyck de Vries, current Formula E champion.
“Nyck is a Mercedes driver in Formula E, but we’ll never get in Nyck’s way for a spot in Formula 1,” Wolff assured. “We don’t have an agency contract with him, nor do we have an option to keep him, so Nyck can drive for any team,” he said.