Linked with both Mercedes and Red Bull, Alex Albon insists that for now his whole focus is on getting the job done for Williams.
Having already been ‘burned’ by the Red Bull experience it is understandable that in some ways the Thai youngster might not to subject himself to another dose, however Lewis Hamilton’s shock move to Ferrari next season has now opened up another avenue.
Williams boss, James Vowles insists that the youngster is not ‘for sale’, but as we have seen all too frequently contract have little value, while everyone has a price, and though Albon might wish to remain loyal it is quite possible that the Grove outfit and its owners could be tempted if the right offer were to come along.
Indeed, it is claimed that though contracted for 2025, his former team has already offered a “first option” contract, whereby it would have first claim on his services for 2026.
However, as far as Albon is concerned, the task is to take Williams forward.
“I would be denying it if I said there’d been questions and general chats around that wording,” he said of a potential move, “but let’s say, truthfully, it’s not really personally my area, that’s more management and that kind of section.
“My focus is about driving,” he continued. “Where I stand is I’m very exciting to see how this FW46 develops, how the car feels in Bahrain and the subsequent four-five-six races and get a feel for the progression I hope we’ve made as a team.
“My whole focus is on Williams,” he insisted, “that’s where I see myself, I’m seeing about the long-term future, and the rate of progression to me is also very important. Time will tell, but that’s my short-sighted view.
“Of course things are moving around quite a lot, you guys know that, you guys also know there’s a lot of rumours going around, but that’s where I’m at.”
Famously promoted to Red Bull from Toro Rosso to replace what was considered an under-performing Pierre Gasly, Albon had a tough time with the ‘big team’ and was dropped after a season and a half. He subsequently returned with Williams and had clearly benefitted from the experience of a smaller team, having continually impressed, hence the links with Mercedes and his old team.
“I feel I’m at or very close to my peak,” he said, “there’s always improvements to be done, but generally with my experience now and where I am I feel like I’m deserving of a car that can score podiums and fight for wins. That’s just being totally honest with how I see myself.
“More than anything, I want that team to be Williams and that’s where I put all my work and all my efforts into.
“It’s very clear to me, especially when you see the driver market, there’s a huge interest in teams wanting the same driver for ’25 and ’26, that’s how it looks like it’s playing out, and let’s see about that.”
Asked if he would consider other options, he replied: Time will tell… my focus is on 2024, let’s keep it like that.
“The real focus is on making sure we make progress for 2025. Realistically want to be with the team. If the team are where I want them to be, it’ll be a long-term contract. We’re going to go all the way or nothing, that’s my idea at Williams.”