Alex Albon has signed on for a second season and extra at Williams because the saga of the place Oscar Piastri results in Formula 1 subsequent yr rumbles on.
Albon, 26, joined the Oxford-based crew at the beginning of 2022 having been dropped by Red Bull on the finish of 2020 and spending final yr as a check driver.
The British-Thai driver has scored all three of Williams’ Championship factors this season – together with a memorable drive in Melbourne in April – and has now put hypothesis about his future to mattress by signing a “multi-year agreement.”
“Well, I’m here for 2023 and beyond. It’s been a good year this year, we wanted more, but this is the goal [points at trophies] and that’s what we’re going for,” Albon mentioned in a video on Williams’ F1 web site.
“It’s nice to have some peace of mind, obviously, going forward about my career and then to be with Williams. Obviously we’ve had a really good start to the season, really enjoyed my time here. For the future and for the rest of the season we’ll keep our heads down. We’re going to focus on maximising the car and doing the best job we can. But to know it goes beyond that is very exciting.”
There was not, nonetheless, any information relating to the way forward for Albon’s present teammate Nicholas Latifi, with rumours that Piastri may take up the second seat at Williams subsequent yr. The announcement comes amid the state of affairs relating to Piastri and his rejection of a seat at Alpine, after the crew introduced him as Fernando Alonso’s alternative for 2023.
In a tweet of his personal, Albon mocked Piastri’s tweet from Tuesday evening saying: “I understand that, with my agreement, Williams Racing have put out a press release this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is right and I have signed a contract with Williams for 2023. I will be driving for Williams next year.”
Jost Capito, Williams CEO and Team Principal, mentioned: “Alex is a tremendous driver and valued member of Williams Racing, so we’re thrilled to be able to confirm we will be working with him on a long-term basis.
“Alex brings a great blend of skill and insightful learnings that will help bring the team greater success in the future. He’s a fierce competitor, has proved a popular and loyal team member and we are delighted that he will provide a stable base for us to continue to develop in this new F1 car era.”
A dramatic couple of days has seen Alonso stun the paddock by signing a “multi-year contract” with Aston Martin from subsequent yr, leaving Alpine with a seat to fill to accomplice Esteban Ocon.
Last yr’s F2 champion Piastri was on Tuesday night introduced because the crew’s F1 driver subsequent yr in a press launch which raised suspicions after it didn’t embody any quotes from the 21-year-old himself and, hours later, Piastri insisted this press launch had been revealed “without his permission” and he has “not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023”, including he’ll “not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Piastri, who’s managed by nine-time Grand Prix winner and fellow Aussie Mark Webber, mentioned in his beautiful rebuttal on Tuesday on Twitter: “I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year.
“This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
The Australian joined the Alpine Academy as a youngster and have become simply the third man after Charles Leclerc and George Russell to win back-to-back drivers’ championships in Formula 2 and Formula 3.
Piastri has loved a string of triumphs in his early phases of his profession, profitable the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup and the 2020 Formula 3 Championship in addition to final yr’s F2 triumph in his rookie season.
He turned the sixth driver to win GP2/F2 in his debut yr and has in 2022 been testing the 2021 Alpine F1 automotive, the A521, in places comparable to Silverstone and Qatar whereas ready within the wings for a spot on the grid to open up.