Williams F1 Team Principal James Vowles confirms Alex Albon “is signed at Williams until the end of 2025”

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James Vowles has said Alex Albon has a contract with Williams Racing until the end of 2025.

The British team principal has done an excellent job since joining the Grove-based squad last year, with the team finishing an impressive P7 in the standings thanks to some outstanding drives from Alex Albon throughout the course of 2023.

The 27-year-old scored 27 of the 28 points bagged by Williams last year. He also beat Logan Sargeant in every single qualifying session in 2023.

One of the big tasks for Vowles is to lock Albon down for the long-term as he looks to build the team around the Thai driver. Albon has been one of the more impressive drivers since his return to the sport two years ago following his departure from Red Bull.

Speaking to media including Pit Debrief on Monday following the livery reveal of the FW46, Vowles explained that Albon has a contract with the team until 2025.

He also rubbished speculation that Albon has agreed a three-year deal with Red Bull Racing, as said by Peter Windsor.

“On Alex, Alex is signed at Williams until the end of 2025. That’s signed.

“It’s not something I’ve been very public about because I don’t feel the need to.

“So any reports that you’re seeing, and there was one in particular, that individual is speculating at best.”

Williams has faced a tough period over the last few years since securing P5 in the standings in 2017. With financial problems and very old facilities hampering them, they finished last in the championship in 2018, 2019 and 2022. 7th in 2023 was their best result since 2017.

Vowles says it’s up to the Grove-based team to prove to Albon and others that they are capable of moving themselves back towards the front.

He also credited the Thai for his defensive heroics in races last year, citing Canada as the big example when he kept a train of cars behind to finish P7.

“As I’ve also said publicly, it is our job in Williams to create an environment that deserves someone of the calibre of Alex. Simple as that. I’ve said that from the beginning and I still maintain that.

“He is an incredible driver that deserves his place towards the front. He did drives last year that I’ve already commented on, they’re no different to some of the other champions I’ve worked with.

“He kept half the field behind at one race [Canada] and we put him in difficult positions and he overcame that to score points.

“He and I have good chats about where we want to move forward and the way we want to move forward is we want to have our journey together in this team for a long time. We have to earn that right.It’s not given by any stretch of the imagination, nor should it be for that matter.

“We have to demonstrate to the world that we’re not the Williams of old and we’re not moving backwards, we’re moving forward.”

In spite of saying Albon has a contract until 2025, the Williams boss definitely left the door open a little bit should Mercedes or Red Bull come calling for the Thai’s services.

“Would I stand in his way? I have the responsibility of Williams on my shoulder. That’s the most important thing to me.
It’s not the responsibility towards one individual, in this case Alex, it’s the responsibility towards the team.

“So should any decision go that way, it’s because I’m very clear in my mind that I’ve made decisions that are correct for the team’s long-term goals, not short-term.”

Vowles was also asked about Lewis Hamilton’s departure from his old team Mercedes. During his time at the Brackley squad with Hamilton from 2013-2022, they won seven Drivers’ Championships and eight Constructors’ Championships.

He admits Hamilton’s departure is not a surprise to him but the timing was.

“Backing it up a bit, Lewis, the timing came as a surprise to me.

“His want and desire to be in a Ferrari at some point in his career, no [not a surprise]. I think most World Champions have either been there or have a desire to be there because it’s a force of nature. It is still the most successful team in Formula 1. Williams is the second most successful team in Formula 1. But it is, and that can’t be ignored.”

Vowles praised Hamilton for leaving his comfortable zone of 11 years to start a new challenge at Scuderia Ferrari next year. He believes it’s a massive moment for the sport in a positive sense, whilst adding Mercedes will be fine beyond the short-term.

“It’s the hardest thing you do, for all of you as well, for every human in the world, to move from where you’re comfortable to where you’re not challenges you and pushes you to the limit. That’s Lewis all over.

“The fact that he’s doing it, I actually think it’s good for sport. It’ll be good for Lewis because he’ll learn from it and he’ll challenge himself.

“It’s not good for Mercedes short-term, but actually, I think you’re going to see they’re going to be absolutely fine on where they get to on drivers and they’ll come back stronger as a result.

“Ultimately, it’s a good thing all round in time.”