Alexander Albon has stressed he is committed to his current team despite a vacancy opening up at front-runners Mercedes next year.
Lewis Hamilton’s unexpected decision to leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the season has opened up a seat alongside George Russell next year.
Albon is entering his fifth season as an F1 driver and won praise for his performance at Williams last year. He could be an attractive option to Mercedes as he already uses their power units and has a good relationship with Russell. However Williams team principal James Vowles stated yesterday Albon has a contract with them for next year.
The driver said he is leaving discussions around his future to his management team as he focuses on preparations for the new season.
“I would be denying it if I said there have been questions and general chats around that already,” he told media including RaceFans at the launch of the team’s new livery for its forthcoming FW46 chassis yesterday. “But truthfully it’s not really, personally, my area. That’s more management and that kind of section.
“My focus is about driving. Where I stand is I’m very excited to see how this 46 develops. I want to see how the car feels in Bahrain and the subsequent four, five, six races and really get a feel for the progression that I hope we’ve made as a team.”
Albon joined Williams in 2022 having been left without a race seat the year before as Red Bull downgraded him to a reserve driver role. “My whole focus is on Williams and that’s where I see myself,” he said. “I’m seeing about the long-term future and the rate of progression to me is also very important.
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“Time will tell, but that’s kind of 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 am at.”
Hamilton had been linked to a move to Ferrari on many occasions before last week’s announcement. Albon admitted he wasn’t sure whether to take the news seriously when it broke, but said Hamilton’s decision is “great for the sport.”
“What a news story it was. I don’t know about you guys, I definitely didn’t see it coming. But good for him, I think he wants that change up.”
The announcement coincided with the build-up to the new season, in which many teams are presenting new liveries and cars. It also came on the same day Ferrari reported strong…