Williams don't need team leader, drivers must 'work together'

Jost Capito is not looking for a team leader at Williams, there’ll be no number one this season, rather he wants Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon to work together.

Williams have a new line up this season, the Grove team having signed Albon as George Russell’s replacement after the Briton left to join Mercedes.

It is Albon’s third season in Formula 1, the Thai-British racer having started out with AlphaTauri in 2019 before being promoted to Red Bull midway through the championship.

The team retained him for 2020 but he wasn’t able to produce the results they wanted, Red Bull dropping him a reserve driver role the following season.

Latifi is also entering his third year of racing, although his time on the grid has been uninterrupted.

He joined Williams in 2020 and last season bagged his first World Championship points, seven in total, on his way to P17 in the Drivers’ Championship.

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— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) February 15, 2022

But while Latifi has more experience with Williams, his team boss has ruled out making him the defacto number one.

“I do not believe that you need a leader with the drivers,” Capito said.

“They both need to be leaders because they have their team in the garage and they have to have the capability to work at an even bigger team, and there I say both have these leadership capabilities.

“If they work together then we should make progress this year.”

This is not the first time that Latifi and Albon have been team-mates, the two racing together in Formula 2 with the DAMS team back in 2018.

That season Albon finished third, losing out to 2018 champion George Russell and Lando Norris, while Latifi was P9. Both drivers claimed at least one race win as they put DAMS third in the teams’ standings.

“They have been team-mates in ’18 in Formula 2, so they work very well together, they respect each other highly and at the stage which Williams is right now this is very important that we don’t have the fights between the two sides of the garage,” Capito added.

“Both will work for the team and not fight against each other and that’s very important for us this season.”

But while Capito doesn’t want a team leader, Latifi says he is eager to step up into that role.

“Beyond the driving, I really need to take a leadership role,” he told The Race last month. “It’s a new car, fresh start, the feedback will be crucial and that will be something new for me in F1 which I haven’t experienced yet.

 

“I need to take on that leadership role and be confident in my decisions, what I’m communicating to the team and the direction it’s going to go in, because I think more than any year I’ve been in F1 and probably more than any year for a long time this will be such an important aspect.”

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