Formula 1: Alex Albon signs contract extension with Williams

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Alex Albon of Thailand and Williams F1 arrives in the paddock during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 24, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kym Illman/Getty Images)
Alex Albon is staying at Williams beyond the 2024 Formula 1 season. (Photo by Kym Illman/Getty Images) (Kym Illman via Getty Images)

Alex Albon isn’t leaving Williams anytime soon.

Williams announced Wednesday that Albon had signed a contract extension with the team. Albon’s previous contract expired after the 2025 season and he was seen as a candidate to change teams either this offseason or next offseason.

“I am incredibly happy to be remaining with Williams Racing and to continue working with such a talented and dedicated team of people,” Albon said in a team statement.

“It has been a difficult start to the year but since joining Williams we have made significant progress together and I have seen the huge changes happening behind the scenes to take us back to the front of the grid. This is a long-term project that I really believe in and want to play a key role in which is why I have signed a multi-year contract.”

Albon, 28, is one of five drivers who hasn’t scored points through the first six races of 2024 and Williams is one of two teams along with Sauber to not have any points in the constructor’s standings this season. So far, you can chalk that up to a lack of speed in the car. Albon is qualifying worse and finishing worse than he did a season ago. In 2023, Albon had an average start and average finish of 12.4 and scored 27 points.

Despite a lack of points this season, he’s been consistently faster than his teammate Logan Sargeant. Sargeant’s contract is up at the end of the season and it’s hard to see him returning to Williams in 2025 to team with Albon for a third consecutive season. Sargeant crashed out of the Miami Grand Prix after contact with Kevin Magnussen.

So far, the highlight — or lowlight, to be more accurate — of the season for Williams came in Australia. Albon crashed out of the first practice session in Melbourne and heavily damaged his car’s chassis. Williams did not have a spare chassis available for the weekend, so it elected to give Sargeant’s car to Albon for the race as Sargeant didn’t start the event.

With Albon staying at Williams for the foreseeable future, there’s still a lot of things to be determined regarding the 2025 Formula 1 field.

Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren look to be the only teams that can safely say they know who their drivers will be next season. Lewis Hamilton is moving from Mercedes to Ferrari to team with Charles Leclerc, while Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri are set to team up for a third consecutive season at McLaren. Fernando Alonso recently re-upped at Aston Martin and even though his teammate Lance Stroll has struggled this season, it’s hard to see him leaving ahead of the 2025 season as his father, Lawrence, owns the team.

Mercedes needs to fill Hamilton’s seat, Red Bull has to decide on the future of Sergio Perez, and Carlos Sainz’s future is still undetermined since he will be replaced by Hamilton at Ferrari. Albon was conceivably a player in the 2025 driver market without a contract after he’s outperformed his Williams equipment. But any team eyeing him for a potential opening will now have to cross him off its list.