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Formula 1

Albon signs new Williams F1 deal in huge vote of confidence

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

Williams Formula 1 driver Alex Albon has signed a new deal with the team that will take him into F1's next rules cycle.

The team has not announced a specific end date for the deal beyond confirming that it is a "multi-year contract extension", thus suggesting it at the very least covers 2026 and 2027.

The extension for the Thai 28-year-old will be seen as a major coup for Williams in F1 circles, given he had become its flagship driver immediately upon joining the ranks at Grove in 2022.

Team boss James Vowles has described the extension as "a huge vote of confidence in Williams and the journey back to competitiveness that we are on" and "a big piece of the puzzle for moving us up the grid".

On the heels of a stellar 2023 season in which Albon's efforts lifted Williams up to seventh in the constructors' standings - its best finish since 2017 - the team has so far stumbled out of the blocks this year.

With its new FW46 scoring no points across six races, it led further credence to doubts over Albon's long-term future at Williams, given he was not only regarded as a viable and solid option for its midfield rivals but even as a potential 'support act' signing down the line for Red Bull - with which he'd become an F1 podium finisher but which dropped him from its main team at the end of 2021.

Albon's previous Williams deal ran through 2025, but the team was thought to be amenable to letting him go at the end of this season if it couldn't get a longer-term commitment.

Now, however, that commitment is in place, and a potentially major player in the driver market is off the board.

"It has been a difficult start to the year but since joining Williams we have made significant progress together and I have seen the huge changes happening behind the scenes to take us back to the front of the grid," said Albon.

“This is a long-term project that I really believe in and want to play a key role in which is why I have signed a multi-year contract.

Williams still has a big part to play in the driver market, however.

Albon's team-mate Logan Sargeant is in a more-than-precarious position, with team boss Vowles having admitted the American needs to pose more of a challenge to Albon to retain his seat.

His chances are not thought to be particularly strong, and there has even been talk of Sargeant being replaced before the year is out - with Mercedes junior Kimi Antonelli waiting in the wings as a potentially attractive loan signing.

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