In a ringing endorsement of the Thai driver who almost single-handedly helped Williams secure seventh in the constructors’ championship last season, Vowles has opened up on the differences he saw in Albon throughout 2023. 

And he thinks the way Albon approached the job, with a car that wasn’t consistent in its performance at all tracks, was evidence of the supreme qualities that he thinks will shine even brighter in the future. 

Speaking to Motorsport.com about Albon, Vowles said: “I've known Alex for around eight years and I couldn't wait to come here [to Williams] and rekindle that relationship that we had before.

“He's really quick, he has the right mindset – and that's really important, not just for him but for any driver to get the most out of themselves. 

“I think if you look at him across the year, and even speak to him openly and candidly, he's not the same driver that I started with in Bahrain. He has really matured across the season and he got the most out of the car, there is no doubt about that. 

Alex Albon at Las Vegas GP 2023

“We were seventh as a result of his incredible drives this year. The team did a great job with getting the car together and stretching it, but he's still had [at times] four or six cars behind him that were down his neck the whole race. That's quite impressive.” 

Albon has resurrected his career after returning to F1 with Williams in 2022, having previously been a part of Red Bull’s young driver programme and racing for its main team for one and half seasons before being relegated to a test and reserve driver role.

Vowles thinks F1 has not seen the best of Albon yet either, as he senses that the confidence he took from 2023, as well as the way he approaches his job, leaves him with plenty of room to keep improving. 

“What I like about him is he hasn't stopped growing yet,” added Vowles. “He hasn't stopped maturing yet, but also what I like about him is there's no politics.  

“He just wants to get in the car and drive quickly, and I think that's why it works really well.”