Alex Albon has ruled out targeting a return to Red Bull, insisting that his long-term focus remains on his current Williams team.

The Thai driver was promoted to the senior Red Bull side after only half a season with its sister team, then known as Toro Rosso, and impressed enough to retain his drive.

However, a torrid 2020 campaign witnessed Albon lose his place on the Formula 1 grid before he returned with Williams last year.

Albon has since strongly rebuilt his reputation with the Grove-based outfit and an assured run to seventh in Canada last time out earned him surprise appreciation from Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Despite severing his previous ties with Red Bull after renewing his Williams deal last year, Albon says he still maintains a strong relationship with Horner to this day.

“Yeah Christian’s always messaging me, telling me good job and those kinds of things,” Albon disclosed ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

“It’s always nice to have that relationship with an old boss, I guess you can say, it was nice of Christian to say that.”

Amid a dramatic slump in form that has seen him fail to make Q3 at the last three race weekends, question marks have arisen over Sergio Perez’s future at Red Bull.

Similarly, Nyck de Vries’ position within Red Bull’s second-string team, AlphaTauri, has repeatedly come under scrutiny as he continues to await his first point of the year.

However, Albon has dismissed the prospect of him returning to the Red Bull stable by issuing his commitment to helping Williams in its bid to return to former glories.

“Truthfully, I think you see it already now, where my main focus is with this team,” he stated.

“This isn’t a short-term situation, I am here for the long run, I’m really enjoying working with the team, being where I am, I do feel like we are on a journey.

“I do want to continue this journey, let’s see how these next few years unfold, and yes, for now, very happy with where I am.”

Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing FW45. 18.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race Day.

Having not scored since the opening round of the year in Bahrain, Williams rushed through an extensive upgrade package in order to have it ready for the Canadian GP.

Albon was able to make optimal use of the improved FW45 and an ambitious one-stop strategy on race day to hold onto seventh place at the close of a challenging 70 laps.

While Albon is under no illusions the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve suited Williams’ 2023 car, he is hopeful its improved run in Montreal will now translate across to more conventional tracks on the F1 calendar.

“I do think Canada does suit us,” he acknowledged ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. “It plays to our strengths and is quite a unique circuit.

“This is much more conventional and I think if we can do well here that puts us in a good place for the rest of the year. “It’s still suiting us – if I look at this track compared to Barcelona – if we had a 23-race calendar I’d choose Austria over Barcelona let’s say that.”

When asked if he was confident his Canada exploits weren’t a one-off, Albon responded defiantly: “I am, actually.

“I still feel like we are going to have these circuits that suit us, Red Bull Ring is kind of one, of course, Monza, Spa, they’re still going to be our chances for points.

“Of course, if there’s strange type of races where we can do better than what we predict then that’s great, I do think this year there are genuine chances to score points where we can go into the weekend even with the way we strategize the tyres or the race itself, we can go into it confident and aggressive in that sense.”

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