Alex Albon explains decision to sign new Williams contract amid Mercedes and Red Bull links

Williams driver Alex Albon

Alex Albon has driven for Williams since 2022 (Photo: Getty)

Alex Albon says he has full belief in Williams to deliver him a race-winning car after he snubbed interest from Mercedes and Red Bull to sign a new contract with the Formula 1 team.

It was announced on Wednesday that Albon had signed a multi-year deal which will keep him with the British outfit until at least the 2026 season.

It was said that the Thai driver was already contracted to Williams until the end of 2025, but he had been linked with moving up the grid.

Albon was initially one of the top candidates to replace Ferrari-bound Sir Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, though those links have cooled over the last few months, with Carlos Sainz and Andrea Kimi Antonelli now the favourites for that seat.

Max Verstappen has also been linked to Mercedes and should that move have happened, Red Bull were tipped to re-sign Albon to replace the three-time world champion.

But the 28-year-old has instead decided to commit his long-term future to Williams despite enduring a poor start to 2024, with the team yet to score any points in the opening six grand prix.

Explaining his decision, Albon said: ‘I know we’ve really only put pen to paper not so long ago, but in the process it’s been about trying to use this as a shift to everyone, to try and motivate everyone.

Williams are yet to score a point in 2024 (Photo: Getty)

‘I’m hoping the fact that I believe in this team, to everyone at the factory – that’s reason in itself to realise that we all can do this and I feel like, and I hope, I can give that reassurance in some ways to everyone to know that I believe in this journey, so you should too.

‘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.

‘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. The journey will take time but I am confident we are building the right team to move forward and achieve great things in the years to come.’

Red Bull were interested in re-signing Alex Albon should Max Verstappen leave (Photo: Getty)

Albon made his F1 debut in 2019 with Toro Rosso but after just half-a-season he was promoted to Red Bull where he initially impressed but subsequently struggled to keep up with Verstappen.

He scored two podiums but was replaced by Sergio Perez and ended up sitting out the 2021 season before joining Williams.

In 2023 he was one of the best drivers on the grid, almost single-handedly dragging Williams to seventh in the standings.

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Source:: Metro


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