Williams announced Wednesday that he had hired Albon, the current reserve driver for Red Bull, for a full-time seat next year, partnering with Nicholas latifi.
WolffMercedes F1 boss had previously said it would be “difficult” to have a Red Bull-affiliated driver on a Mercedes client team, especially when Red Bull becomes a power unit manufacturer starting next season.
Last weekend Wolff said at Zandvoort that Albon would have to be released from his Red Bull contract so that Mercedes could work with him at Williams.
Red Bull revealed following the announcement of Williams that he had freed Albon, but that he had a relationship with “future options” to work together.
Wolff said at Monza on Friday that he felt no frustration over Williams’ decision to sign Albon, making it clear that confidentiality clauses had been included in the Anglo-Thai driver’s contract to protect the intellectual property of the Mercedes power unit. .
“We have always respected the authority of a team to choose its drivers,” said Wolff.
“I was in Williams, and I would not have wanted anyone to interfere in our decision about the drivers. And in the same way, we do not have contractual rights that we could or would have used, because I do not think it is correct to interfere in the decision of the team about the drivers. pilots “.
“What was important to us is that if a driver from another power unit manufacturer joins the team, then there are very strict and clear intellectual property confidentiality clauses.”
“That was always in great harmony with Williams, they know exactly where we come from and what is important to protect.”
Toto Wolff, head of the Mercedes Formula 1 team.
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Wolff added that Mercedes had “absolutely” ensured the clauses it wanted in the contract for Albon, saying, “He’s basically a Williams driver for the next 12 months. He has no ties to Red Bull during that time.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner previously revealed that Williams was Albon’s preferred team for 2022, having also drawn interest from Alfa Romeo, and said there was also a “desire” in the opposite direction.
“I have to say that our deal with (Williams) was very straightforward,” Horner said.
“There were some small obstacles along the way, but I am delighted that we achieved a good result for Alex, for Williams and for Red Bull.”
Wolff was pleased that Albon has secured a return to F1, having been scrapped in late 2020 by Red Bull’s main team to make room for Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen’s teammate.
“To be honest, I absolutely support, although it’s none of my business, Alex Albon,” Wolff said.
“He deserves to be in F1, he’s a great guy, and I’m happy for him he’s in the car.”
“He’s there, he didn’t get a job at AlphaTauri or Red Bull, but now he’s at Williams and I hope he stays there for a long time.”