While the posse surrounding Oscar Piastri’s future is still in full swing, Williams is making nails in the Formula 1 driver market. The British racing team has extended the contract with Alexander Albon. The team announced this on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old will contest a second Formula 1 season for Williams in 2023. And more will follow, because Williams speaks of a multi-year contract.
“It’s really exciting to stay at Williams in 2023 and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team for the rest of the season and next year. The team is working hard to develop and I’m very motivated to continue this journey and develop our insights together,” Albon is quoted as saying in Williams’ statement.
Ridicule for Alpine and Piastri
Albon confirmed the contract extension on Twitter in a much more humorous way. In a tweet similar to Oscar Piastri’s on Tuesday, he sneered, “I understand that Williams Racing issued a press release this afternoon, with my consent, that I will be driving for them next year. That’s right and I have one Contract signed with Williams for 2023. I will drive for Williams next year.”
Team boss Jost Capitio describes Albon in the message as a “great driver and a valued member of Williams.” The German continues: “Alex brings a great mix of skills and insightful insights that will help the team achieve greater success in the future. He is a tough competitor, has proven to be a well-liked and loyal team member and we are delighted to that it will form a stable basis for our further development in this new era of Formula 1 cars.”
It is not yet known who will be Albon’s teammate at Williams next season. The contract with his current teammate Nicholas Latifi expires at the end of 2022. Due to poor performance, the Canadian’s stay at Williams is questionable.
The former Red Bull driver Albon returned to Formula 1 as a regular driver at Williams in 2022 after a one-year break and has been convincing there so far. Albon has the team duel with Latifi clearly under control.
Announcement in response to Piastri turmoil?
Today’s announcement by Williams could be a reaction to the turmoil surrounding Alpine and Piastri. The reigning Formula 2 champion has long been considered a prime candidate for a Williams cockpit in the 2023 season.
The fact that the Australian now seems to prefer McLaren obviously upset the team from Grove. With the extension of Albon’s contract, the British-Thai pilot is also taken away from the currently dynamic driver market and avoided being poached by another team.