Formula 1 Racing

A vote of confidence or biding his time? What Albon’s new Williams F1 deal means

Albon has committed his future to Williams despite a lack of results in 2024 to date

Albon was hailed as one of the stand-out performers of last season, scoring all but one of Williams’ 28 points to drag it up to seventh in the constructors’ standings.

With over half the grid out of contract for 2025, that made the 28-year-old an enticing prospect for any top team looking to make a change. Albon was still under contract for next year, but never totally ruled out the possibility of leaving early, and team boss James Vowles likewise left the door open for a deal to be done, albeit at a price.

That Albon has now committed to Williams with what has been named a multi-year contract seems a huge coup for the Grove-based team. It is keeping hold of its most prized asset for a few more years as Vowles and right-hand man Pat Fry undertake a top-to-bottom rebuild of the squad’s outdated facilities and inefficient workflows.

Vowles has been open to the world about the mountain of work that needs to be completed to turn its fortunes around, and 2024 has provided more reminders of the painful journey ahead.

Logan Sargeant was forced to sit out the Australian Grand Prix following Albon’s practice shunt, because the team didn’t have a spare chassis ready, the result of a heavily delayed production cycle for its new cars. Subsequent of incidents – not all of its own making – further depleted the team’s spare parts pool, meaning even more resources had to be redirected from bringing upgrades to the race track.

That meant that Williams hasn’t been able to bring out its car’s true potential in the first few races. And now its early-season woes appear in the rear-view mirror, the reality is it is still on the back foot bringing performance to the FW46 while its fellow midfield teams are all busy collecting points.

The FW46 is a better all-round package than its predecessor but doesn’t have the low-downforce peaks that allowed Albon to score big on suitable circuits, which is ironically making it harder to score anywhere at all.

Albon has committed his future to Williams despite a lack of results in 2024 to date

Photo by: Motorsport Images

These are the growing pains of a previously underfunded team needing a drastic overhaul, some of which has already been delivered, and some which will take more time.

Albon has always maintained he needed to see the team progress to commit his future to it, and he says he’s seeing those signs behind the scenes even if on-track success might still be years away.

“You can see James has…

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