Alex Albon said Formula One drivers are “concerned” by the FIA’s decision to ban political statements.
F1’s governing body has updated its rules to prevent “political, religious or personal” comments being made without prior approval.
The controversial FIA crackdown comes after drivers including seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and recently retired Sebastian Vettel have spoken out on issues including racism, diversity and the environment in recent seasons.
In 2020, F1 launched the We Race as One campaign to combat inequality and increase sustainability.
But speaking at Williams’ season launch, where the FW45 was unveiled, London-born Thai Albon said: “We are all concerned. We know that politics and posturing are sensitive areas, but we need clarity from the FIA on what what they’re trying to tell us.” .
Albon, 26, is preparing for his fourth season in F1 and his second with Williams.
Williams will have a new team principal for next season, which begins in Bahrain on March 5, following the transfer of James Vowles from Mercedes to replace Jost Capito.
Vowles was a key element in Silver Arrows’ remarkable run of success, which propelled Hamilton to six of his seven world titles, and Albon hopes some of that Mercedes magic rubs off on Williams.
“Everyone I know speaks highly of James, including Jost,” added Albon, who will team with American rookie Logan Sargeant this season.
“I’m sure he can bring a lot to the table. We talked on the phone, we had dinner and it’s good to see what he thinks, and to have that different point of view coming from a team that has been very successful.”
Read below for more information on the 2023 season
When are the release dates for the F1 cars?
Red bull, RB19: February 3, 2:00 p.m. (UK time) New York
Williams: February 6, online
AlphaTauri AT04: February 11, New York
Aston Martin AMR23: February 13, Silverstone
Ferrari: February 14th
Mercedes W14: February 15, Silverstone
Alpine A523: February 16, London
Alfa Romeo: February 7th
Haas: The livery launch took place on 31 January.
What are the cars of 2023 like?
red bull, rb19
When are the preseason tests held?
Unlike last year, there is only one pre-season test ahead of the 2023 season. That runs from Thursday, February 23, to Saturday, February 25 at the Bahrain International Circuit, just outside Sakhir.
Will the test be on TV?
We do not yet have any confirmation that this is the case. After a few years of testing being broadcast on F1TV and Sky Sports, last year’s first test in Spain (which was not officially a name test but a pre-season shakedown) was not broadcast, but the second test in Bahrain was. .
Since there is only one test, a week before the race it seems likely that the test will be televised in some form, but that is not guaranteed.
When is the first race of 2023?
The first grand prix of the 2023 season is also at the Bahrain International Circuit, from Friday the 3rd to Sunday the 5th of March.
Where and when will the six sprint races be this year?
Formula One has announced the six sprint venues for 2023 with Azerbaijan, Belgium, the Austin race in the United States and Qatar joining Austria and Brazil in qualifying on Friday and a shorter sprint race on Saturday.
Three sprint races took place in 2022, at Imola, Austria and Brazil, with much discussion in the early part of the season about expanding that offer for next year.
The teams and F1 were keen to double the number, arguing that sprint racing has been successful in attracting fans and increasing audience size. But the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, initially resisted, claiming it would cost them more and asking for compensation.
Like last year, points will also be awarded to the top eight drivers in the sprint race. Once again, the sprint races will be about 100km, or about a third of the distance of a grand prix, and will take place on Saturday, with the traditional three-part qualifying setting the grid for the sprint and takes place on Friday.
The driver who leads the standings on Friday, when these sprint races take place, will get the official pole position, not the sprint winner, as was the case in 2021.
What are the driver lineups?
Red Bull: Max Verstappen (33) and Sergio Pérez (11)
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (44) and George Russell (63)
Ferrari: Carlos Sainz (55) and Charles Leclerc (55)
Alpine: Esteban Ocon (31) and Pierre Gasly (10)
McLaren: Lando Norris (4) and Óscar Piastri (81)
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas (77) and Guanyu Zhou (24)
Aston-Martin: Lance Stroll (18) and Fernando Alonso (14)
Haas: Kevin Magnussen (20) and Nico Hulkenberg (27)
AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda (22) and Nyck de Vries (TBA)
Williams: Alexander Albon (23) and Logan Sargeant (2)
What is the full schedule?
5: Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
19: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah
2: Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne
30: Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku +
5-7: Miami Grand Prix, Miami
19-21: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola
26-28: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
June 2-4: Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona
June 16-18: Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
2: Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg +
9: British Grand Prix, Silverstone
23: Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest
30: Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps +
27: Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort
September 1-3: Italian Grand Prix, Monza
September 15-17: Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore
September 22-24: Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
October 6-8: Qatar Grand Prix, Lusail +
October 20-22: United States Grand Prix, Austin +
October 27-29: Mexico City Grand Prix, Mexico City
November 3-5: Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Sao Paulo +
November 16-18: Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas
November 24-26: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina
+ Denotes sprint event weekend
How to watch the season
As has been the case for some time now, in the UK, Sky Sports F1 has almost exclusive coverage rights for the season. They will be showing all the practice sessions, qualifying sessions, sprint qualifying and races throughout the season.
Channel 4 will once again have its extended qualifying and race recaps, with the British Grand Prix in July broadcast live.
If you’re outside of the UK, you can also subscribe to F1’s F1TV for a monthly fee throughout the season.